On the Rocks

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones are endlessly charming as a father and daughter bonding while snooping on the daughter's potentially cheating husband

Film Review by Jamie Dunn | 28 Sep 2020
  • On the Rocks
Film title: On the Rocks
Director: Sofia Coppola
Starring: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans, Jenny Slate
Release date: 2 Oct
Certificate: 15

Signs that Laura (Jones) and Dean (Wayans) might not be a perfect match are there from the start in Sofia Coppola’s melancholic comedy On the Rocks. Chet Baker’s I Fall in Love Too Easily plays at their wedding reception, for Pete’s sake. But when Dean’s non-specific hipster tech firm job keeps sending him off on extended work trips with his gorgeous assistant, Laura starts to get suspicious, although there’s a good chance her paranoia is partly a distraction from the monotony of motherhood and the stress of having a book-deal but nothing to write about.

Who better to turn to for advice than her incorrigible father Felix (Murray), a gregarious art dealer who knows a thing or two about cheating on his spouse?

Like in her wistful Somewhere, it’s the father-daughter relationship that really interests Coppola. Jones and Murray make for an endlessly watchable duo. They turn amateur sleuths, with Felix using his connections (a running joke is that he’s on a first-name basis with everyone in the city) to keep tabs on Dean’s movements. 

If you come to Coppola's work to luxuriate in the ennui of the affluent, that’s all here, although On the Rocks never quite penetrates the surface glamour. Its belly laughs do compensate for the souffle lightness, though. If the sight of Murray struggling to scale a waist-high wall doesn’t send you, then several motormouth appearances by Jenny Slate as one of Laura’s fellow school-run moms surely will.

Released 2 Oct by A24, streaming on Apple TV+ from 23 Oct; certificate 15