‘And So It Goes’ misses the comic mark
A review of “And So It Goes,” a movie directed by Rob Reiner, who knows how to make funny movies, but for some reason failed to in this instance. Moira Macdonald rates it 1½ stars out of a possible four.
Seattle Times movie critic
Movie Review ★½
‘And So It Goes,’ with Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Sterling Jerins, Frances Sternhagen, Scott Shepherd. Directed by Rob Reiner, from a screenplay by Mark Andrus. 94 minutes. Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and drug elements. Several theaters.
Somewhere, hidden down deep inside Rob Reiner’s “And So It Goes” is a good movie; a wistful comedy about second chances. But “And So It Goes” is not that movie, because what we see is all cluttered up with silly plot devices and dogs humping stuffed animals and elderly women using naughty words and people watching “Duck Dynasty.” It’s as if someone came along late in production and said, “This needs to be funnier,” and so somebody else came along — somebody who knew nothing whatsoever about comedy — and sprayed fake-comedy fog all over the movie, so you couldn’t see what it was supposed to look like. Maybe that’s what really happened; I don’t know.
At any rate, something got lost in the fog along the way. Michael Douglas (terrific recently in “Behind the Candelabra”) plays widower Oren Little, a cranky real-estate agent who’s mean to dogs, generally obnoxious and estranged from his grown son (Scott Shepherd). Diane Keaton is Leah, the sweet widow next door who’s trying — shades of “Annie Hall” — to make a career as a lounge singer. Into their lives comes Oren’s granddaughter Sarah (Sterling Jerins), who must be left with Oren while her father serves a little jail time. Oren, eventually, becomes nice. The end.
What emerges from all this is that Keaton still has an endearing habit of getting lost in cyclones of words; that Reiner and screenwriter Mark Andrus have included a completely random birthing scene in this movie for no reason whatsoever (it’s the quickest, cleanest birth you’ll ever see); that it’s been a very long time since Reiner directed “When Harry Met Sally”; and that in a different movie with a better script, Douglas and Keaton might have been charming together, with his dryness balancing her feathery ramblings. And then you wish Reiner would have made that movie instead. And then you forget this movie almost immediately. And so it goes.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org