‘On the Rocks’ is a Fantastic Film…for 1970

GameStop, Inc.

Sofia Coppola has her father’s eye and all her family’s talent but leaves us emotionally indifferent with her new film On the Rocks.

On the Rocks is the latest film from director Sofia Coppola to fall flat with me. Coppola has a wonderful eye for detail, but the first third of this movie is absolutely soulless. Laura (Rashida Jones) becomes suspicious of her husband Dean (Marlon Wayans) after a late night kiss doesn’t turn into a night of passion and she later finds a bag in his suit case that clearly belongs to another woman. Now, with the help of her lothario father Felix (Bill Murray), these upper crust New Yorkers insist on following Dean, especially with his new late night hours at the office with an exceptionally attractive female co-worker.

Laura (Rashida Jones) and Felix (Bill Murray) in the only entertaining scene from ‘On the Rocks.’ Streaming on Apple TV+ Beginning October 23, 2020.

The whole time watching On the Rocks, I was trying to figure out if I should feel sorry for Laura or if I should pity Dean because of his one dimensional wife. Even Bill Murray’s Felix isn’t sympathetic as the father who failed in all relationships only to love his daughter more than oxygen or detest his philandering behavior.

Beyond the visual beauty of using flatter colors, primarily grays and cloudy skies, On the Rocks is made for White people using a multi-ethnic cast with zero multi-ethnic cultural appeal. It’s White characters with Black actors in order to make the claim that it is a multi-racial movie. Basically, it’s for White people who don’t know any Black people but would like to have two Black friends to expand beyond tokenism.

There is one reference to natural hair and Laura’s daughters wearing it anyway they want once they grow up that would make the woke White people their fists with a, “Yeah, you go girl/my sista!” moment. Frankly, Coppola should know better about lack of representation and writing multi-ethnic characters being an Italian-American whose people were not accepted as mainstream Americans for over a century.

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones give wonderful performances for what they are given, but unless you’re an upper-middle class woke White person that wishes to be an urban dweller, you are not the target demographic.

Oh! And like every other one of her movies there is an ending you’re not supposed to suspect, but guess what!?! You get M. Night Shyamalan’ed only you saw it 25 minutes into this waste of an hour and a half and some change.

On the Rocks begins streaming on Apple TV+ Friday, October 23, 2020.

  • Overall Score
1.5

Summary

On the Rocks is a movie for upper-middle class White people that want to feel good about watching a movie with Black actors. Bill Murray and Rashida Jones give wonderful performances for what they have to work with, but unless you’re White and want to pat yourself on the back for watching a movie with Black people and bi-racial characters in it, skip On the Rocks.

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