Mar 1, 2015

Review: And So It Goes (2014)

Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton have both had illustrious careers and no one can really say otherwise. While I've never been one for Diane Keaton personally, she's got some big movies to her name and her typical high-strung performances do at times fit in very nicely. I'd definitely call myself a Michael Douglas fan though.

What I've begun to notice about Douglas and Keaton is that they're starting to be in movies I'd term as "old-timer" movies. Meant to attract the 50 and over crowd, they usually end up being pitiful tributes to once better times. Last Vegas is definitely one of these and The Big Wedding to be fair tries to be a movie for young and old by assembling an ensemble cast of young actors not trying and old actors not caring. Point is, Douglas and Keaton aren't getting the offers they once were. I'd rather they skip out on projects like this, but when there's bacon to be taken home it's a different story.


Genre: comedy, drama, romance
Directed by: Rob Reiner
Produced by: Mark Damon, Alan Greisman, Rob Reiner, etc.
Written by: Mark Andrus
Music by: Marc Shaiman
Running time: 94 minutes
Production company: ASIG Productions, Castle Rock Entertainment, Envision Entertainment, etc.
Distributed by: Clarius Entertainment, Foresight Unlimited, Deltamac Co., etc.
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $30,000,000
Box office: $25,312,387 (Worldwide)

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Sterling Jerins, Annie Parisse, Rob Reiner, Albert Jones, Yaya DaCosta, Paloma Guzmán, Frances Sternhagen, Andy Karl, Frankie Valli, David Aaron Baker



Oren Little's (Michael Douglas) wife died ten years ago. Since then, he's become selfish, self-absorbed and just plain cranky. His estranged son Luke (Scott Shepherd) who has a history of drug abuse makes a sudden appearance and asks Oren to take care of his nine year-old daughter Sarah (Sterling Jerins) while he's in prison for nine months. Oren refuses to have anything to do with his granddaughter, but doesn't have much of a choice when she's dropped off as his doorstep.


There's really not a lot going for And So It Goes. Scriptwriter Mark Andrus who has As Good as It Gets as part of his writing credits doesn't seem to be able to offer much more than awkward teary scenes and depressingly sad attempts at comedy. Probably sensing that the material isn't worth the effort, ASIG features some of the worst performances I've ever seen out of Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton.

Probably the most shocking thing about And So It Goes is that it was directed by THE Rob Reiner. He actually even has a small role in the movie which amounts to absolutely nothing. You'd think that Reiner would have better sense than to be willing to step into such a pointless role, but that goes even more so for actually taking this directing job. It doesn't seem like his heart is in it as he happily goes along with every sappy and melodramatic moment. 

The character of Oren Little is the classic mean-spirited and grumpy old man who makes life difficult for everyone around him. You also have his super friendly next-door neighbour Leah (Diane Keaton) who is an aging old singer trying to eke out a living with restaurant gigs and she too happens to be a widower. Will be any romance between the two? Nah, seems to perfect right? Right?

Once you throw you in poor little nature-loving Sarah, you just know that unwilling grandfather Oren is on the pathway to redemption. Do I even need to put spoiler tags? It's just so obvious and once that does indeed start happening, it's done quite half-heartily. There's no reason to like the old mean Oren nor is there any reason to like the rushed-to-be-good Oren either.

So what about Leah, the highly-emotional neighbour? What irritated me about her among other things is that she's just suddenly able to be all motherly and have this instantaneously grown relationship with Sarah. It's just way too weird that a single day goes by and she's already calling Sarah sweetheart or whatever and asking her to kiss her on the nose. It's a bit much to take seriously to say the least.

Diane Keaton actually does the singing for her character which is admirable and she's demonstrated talent in past singing roles as well. For ASIG, I wouldn't go farther than saying that she's OK. Something just seems a bit off and I couldn't help but feel a bit embarrassed from time to time as she performed. Whether it was the random interjections or the dance moves, I just wasn't feeling it. The worst aspect of all however is her character's inability to get through a song without starting to cry. If it were me in that restaurant, you can bet I'd complain. 

So with all the melodrama, all the failed one-liners and crippled attempts at humour, And So It Goes is painfully predictable the whole way through. There are maybe one or two scenes between Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton that work, but that's it. It's painfully obvious that ASIG is nothing more than an attempt at chasing down the 50 and over crowd with actors far from their heyday as well as recognizable music. There's no doubt that there are better options for this demographic and no one of any age should have to put up with this Rob Reiner mistake anyway. 



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