Sofia Coppola (“Lost In Translation”, “The Bling Ring”) is back in full-on Murray mode with On The Rocks, a look at life and what happens when you lose site of who you are.
Laura, Rashida Jones (“Parks And Recreation (TV)”, “Spies In Disguise”), is happily married to Dean, Marlon Wayans (“The Heat”, “Norbit”), or so she thinks.
You see, Dean is away a lot, he’s setting up his own company and that involves plenty of travel with his team, including the leggy Fiona, or Fifi, Jessica Henwick (“Game Of Thrones (TV)”, “The Head Hunter”).
Whilst he’s away doing that, Laura is at home with their two children, going through the motions, struggling to write her next book, and when she begins to notice Deans behaviour, she start to think that perhaps there’s something more to these trips away.
Enter Laura’s father Felix, Bill Murray (“Zombieland: Double Tap”, “Isle Of Dogs”), a former gallery owner who now spends his time, and money, on the finer things in life. He also has an eye for the ladies.
With Laura’s mind already wondering, her father adds to this, keen to solve the mystery involving his beloved daughter. He sees the whole thing as an adventure, a way to spend more time with his daughter, and the pair embark on a merry adventure across the city.
They follow Dean from place to place, Felix even getting photos taken, though all they show is Dean eating a sandwich.
Eventually, things come to a head when Dean makes a last-minute trip to Mexico with his team, and so Laura and Felix take the trip themselves. Neither are sure what they will find, or what they are doing, but they go anyway.
What Coppola has created with On The Rocks is a very funny adventure. She knows how to get the best from Murray, giving him a platform to excel which he grasps with both hands and goes to town.
With the delightful Jones by his side, they make an amusing pair. Murray, deadpan as ever, is a delight whenever he’s on screen, from the tender moments shared with is on-screen daughter, to him charming his way out of a speeding ticket with the cops.
Coppola winds the story this way and that, the comedy is light, but it’s the dialogue that shines. Felix is full of stories and one-liners, Laura having heard them all before, but they pop and zing off the screen.
If there’s a problem, it’s perhaps that the ending is a tad to “Hollywood”, a bit to “happy families” when what’s gone prior felt more fun, not quite grounded, but fun.