Director Rob Reiner brings romance to the screen once again. This time, aging but youthful Oren (Michael Douglas) and Leah (Diane Keaton) are the subjects of his film chemistry. Frankie Valli also appears in a cameo.
Oren is a curmudgeonly real estate agent past his prime who lost his wife to cancer. Leah is a wannabe lounge singer still mourning her late husband. Living next door to each other in the same small apartment complex, neither thinks too highly of the other. When the young granddaughter he didn’t know he had is thrust into Oren’s life, however, he’s pulled by necessity towards his neighbor. And then it becomes something more.
Not nearly as awkward as 2012’s entry in the older generation romance genre, (Hope Springs), it still feels distinctly geared towards a very specific niche audience. Written by Mark Andrus, the story is utterly predictable, even by romantic comedy standards. Nothing much happens at all outside of the requisite budding relationship between our two protagonists, including the usual superficial ups and downs. It’s a good thing that Keaton and Douglas create some more or less enjoyable characters and the dialogue is peppered with some occasionally humorous banter. Otherwise there would be absolutely nothing to this film.
Without the leads strong-arming likability into the picture, this would qualify as a snooze fest. In fact, it’s amazing the two of them seemed as awake as they do, considering they could have probably performed these roles with their eyes closed. Absolutely nothing unexpected during the entire story. The shocks and twists are neither shocking nor twisty to anyone who has watched a romantic comedy before. We are never given the opportunity to be pleasantly surprised by anything as the characters development and reveals come at the exact time and in the usual manner as expected.
It’s difficult to come up with much else to say about this film because it is simply so mediocre. It’s not worth bashing since it’s really not all that bad, but there’s not really anything worth celebrating either. It just exists. Like the generic title it carries, this film is just there, not doing much.
I am perfectly fine with a film traveling a well worn path as long as the scenery and experiences along the way are worth the road most taken. Unfortunately in this case, there’s not that much worth your time. As is the case with other under-served demographics, the fact that a film caters to them may simply be enough to bring audiences to the theater. It’s a shame they’ll have to settle for just good enough rather than be given something special.
Mrs. Hamster says:
“It’s a very generic romantic comedy for old people. There’s not much to say about it.”
My rating: Two out of five hats
And so it Goes attempts to romance 1,760 theaters, July 25