Our foremost purveyor of rich people problems is back, and this time she doesn't have much to say. But the power of Bill Murray and Rashida Jones' charm is such that even a paper-thin script that On the Rocks remains a delight throughout.
Sofia Coppola's latest is a strangely low-stakes affair, about a disaffected writer and mother (Rashida Jones), who begins to wonder whether the late nights and long trips her husband (Marlon Wayans) takes are just part of the deal with starting a new business, or if he's cheating on her. Laura feels she has few friends she can lean on, which is true. Her mother is kind of cold, her sister is bitchy and her closest gal pal (Jenny Slate) is self-absorbed. Thus she turns to the biggest cheater she knows: her dad (Bill Murray). He's all too eager to bust his son-in-law and to spend time with his daughter, whom he hasn't seen a lot of lately.
Much of On the Rocks is a hangout movie, and what a hangout. Who amongst us wouldn't want to snack in a vintage roadster with Bill Murray and Rashida Jones? And kudos to the location scout who found that Mexican resort. Getting drunk and snooping around a beachside hotel with these two looks like a blast. But that's all it is. Missing is the compelling mystery of The Virgin Suicides, the crushing loneliness of Lost in Translation or even the impending danger of The Beguiled. Everything that happens is entirely predictable, but enjoyable all the same.
This feels like the first Sofia Coppola movie not to contend for any major awards, and that's fine. More of our celebrated writer-directors should use their pull to make low-key movies with people they like in gorgeous locations. If Adam Sandler can do it, why not an Academy Award-winning filmmaker? Coppola is a splashy name for the first movie under the A24-AppleTV+ partnership, but it's a lightweight project that feels right at home on a streaming service for you to fire up on a weekend afternoon.
*This film is currently playing in select theaters and will premiere globally on Apple+ on October 23.