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And So It Goes
And So It Goes
Director: Rob Reiner
Writer: Mark Andrus
Cast: Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Rob Reiner, Sterling Jerins, Annie Parisse, Austin Lysy, Michael Terra, Sawyer Tanner Simpkins, Maxwell Simkins, Maurice Jones, Yaya DaCosta, Scott Shepherd, Andy Karl, Frances Sternhagen, Frankie Valli, Luke Robertson, Meryl Williams, Albert Jones, Amirah Vann
Synopsis: A self-absorbed realtor enlists the help of his neighbor when he's suddenly left in charge of the granddaughter he never knew existed until his estranged son drops her off at his home.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and drug elements
6 / 10
- Acting was fairly decent
- Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton have great chemistry together, and they carry the film quite well.
- Some of the jokes were funny.
- Features some surprisingly deep messages about life.
- The movie suffers from a lot of pacing issues that make it feel longer than it actually is.
- Mediocre script.
- The entire film is cliched and formulaic to the point that it's extremely predictable.
- The love story between Leah and Oren feels contrived.
There are a million reasons not to like this film, but it's not as bad as many critics make it out to be.
Although this film hasn't been well received by most audiences and critics on rotten tomatoes, it's not as bad many might think. Sure, I wouldn't call it the best movie of this year, nor would I put it in my top ten. However, it's a fairly decent movie for what it is. "And So It Goes" is a simple story about a man named Oren Little (Michael Douglas), who happens to be a successful real estate dealer in a small town.
Still grieving over the death of his wife several years ago, he now wishes to sell his old home for quite a substantial fortune, so he can retire in another state. However, things change when he learns that his son is caught in some legal troubles, and he's forced to take care of his granddaughter, Sarah (Sterling Jerins), while he's gone.
On the surface of this film, it seems like the movie tries to emulate "Kramer vs. Kramer" in a lot of ways, by having an estranged father figure struggling to raise a child on their own. The story can be rather touching at times, and offers plenty of insightful moments about life that I'm surprised most film critics haven't picked up on, when watching this feature. Emphasizing on moments like how we should always try to move forward in life, and, how sometimes we can know so little about the ones we love until it's too late. It's an interesting movie to say the least, and I definitely think it's a lot better than most critics give this credit for.
Granted, "And So It Goes" does have it's share of flaws, which I'll get into in a minute. As for the rest of the story, there's also a love subplot as well. During the film, Oren is often confronted by by another widower, who happens to be wannabe lounge singer by the name of Leah (Diane Keaton).
Unlike Oren who has a very pessimistic and cynical view of the world, Leah is an eternal optimist that's always eager to lend a hand. It's never made clear how long these two have known each other, but they start to develop something of a romance once Sarah arrives. Although Leah has no real obligation to help Oren with his granddaughter, she does it anyway, as she volunteers to act as her surrogate grandmother for no other reason than just to be nice.
When we first meet Leah, she's still grieving over the loss of her husband many years ago. Oren seems to deal with most of his pain internally, while Leah is a bit more extroverted when it comes to hers. And if you've seen a lot of films before, then you know exactly how this is going to turn out.
Both characters have opposite personalities. They're both mourning over the deaths of their loved ones that died ages ago, and they're raising a kid together. Plus, they have that stereotypical cliche dialogue, where they claim not to like each other in that way throughout the beginning. Yet, the writers throw in just a few scenes here and there of mild flirtations to give the audience the impression that they're going to hook up eventually.
And to make matters worse, the entire film plays out exactly as you'd expect it to. "And So It Goes" isn't a bad movie by any means. It's just extremely formulaic, which makes the whole story rather predictable. Plus, it doesn't help that the entire film suffers from pacing issues, where the movie feels longer than it actually is..
However, the acting is fairly decent. Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton have a great rapport together. And even though the romance between them was cliche and predictable, they were able to carry the film to at least make it worth watching. Another gripe that I have about the love story is that it can often feel a bit contrived half the time. At the beginning of the movie, Leah and Oren wanted almost nothing to do with another. Yet when Sarah comes along, it seems like the Mark Andrus and Rob Reiner try to take a few notes from "As Good As It Gets." Sadly, the story ends up becoming a cluttered mess, and it just comes off feeling like another cliche Hollywood love story about two opposites getting together.
Although this latest Rob Reiner flick feels more like a made for TV film, it's fairly decent for what it tries to be. Granted, you can argue that many of the themes this movie explores were done vastly better in other movies, and I wouldn't disagree. However, if it's ever on TV someday, then it's worth checking out. I wouldn't pay to see this in a theater though, but it's definitely not as bad as many critics have made it out to be.
© 2014 Steven Escareno