Laura (Rashida Jones) is in a rut. Her relationships are, as the film title suggests, on the rocks: her husband (Marlon Wayans) spends more time at work than with his wife, and her father (Bill Murray) is in Paris, drinking brandy and flirting with a stranger. But this isn’t a film about love lost, or even about love found. This is about identity and the crisis that comes when you’re lost between what and who you’re meant to be.

Teaming up once again with Sofia Coppola, Murray is, predictably, brilliant. Flirtatious, funny, and prone to acting on flights of fancy, his portrayal of doting dad Felix is utterly charming. He plays the part with such charisma that it isn’t until his daughter calls him out on his past transgressions that we see the incorrigible lothario for what those characteristics really mean, despite the fact we’ve known that’s who he is all along.

His performance is a potent contrast to Jones’ lost-yet-levelheaded Laura. As she navigates the complexities of what it means to be a wife, a mother, a daughter, and beyond that, what it means to be herself, her transformation is a subtle one. And subtleties are where this film shines. The conversations between Laura and Felix are, while soul-searching, also delightfully off-the-wall. The duo’s methods of investigation become more and more gleefully outlandish. It’s the humoured glances they share, the unspoken indulgence they give each other, the harmony – despite all odds – that exists in their silences, that anchor this film in reality and prove to be its most resounding strength.

On the Rocks is a love letter to home, to what that means and how it shapes us. Part-family drama, part-screwball comedy, this is Sofia Coppola’s most human film yet.



CAST: Bill Murray, Rashida Jones, Marlon Wayans

DIRECTOR: Sofia Coppola

WRITER: Sofia Coppola

SYNOPSIS: A young mother faced with sudden doubts about her marriage teams up with her larger-than-life playboy father to tail her husband on an adventure through New York.