The 2020 release “On The Rocks” puts a twist on the cliché father-daughter film, and the cast makes it an early awards season contender. Bill Murray and Rashida Jones shine as the lead duo in A24’s latest drama. The film marks the third collaboration between Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray.
The film follows Laura (Jones), a young mother who begins having some doubts about her marriage
when her husband Dean (Wayans) begins taking more business trips with a new assistant. Her father (Murray) begins a game of cat-and-mouse tailing Dean to confirm or deny his suspicions.
Even if the plot sounds like something you’ve seen before, Bill Murray and Rashida Jones carry the film
with their great rapport. The film is filled with small moments of just dialogue between the two. There is a sensitivity to Murray’s performance as an estranged father, who treated his wife the same way he is accusing Dean of treating his daughter. Every quiet moment is matched with an endearing twinkle in his eye that shows the yearning he has for more time with his daughter. Rashida Jones also deserves a lot of credit. The comedy in the film is very reliant on her timing and delivery, and she hits the marks extraordinarily well.
Back in November of 2018, the Academy Award-winning studio A24 inked a deal with Apple to produce films exclusively for their streaming service. The studio has gained a following over the years, and have
garnered more attention recently with films such as, “Ex Machina” (2014), “Room” (2015), “Lady Bird” (2017), “Moonlight” (2018) and “Uncut Gems” (2019). Apple smartly wanted to be involved with producing original films for their streaming service, Apple TV+.
As of Nov. 4, “On The Rocks” has grossed $847,604 at the global box office in the month it has had a limited theater release. That is a really good haul considering the small scale of the film, and the current global pandemic likely played a part in that as well.
This specific theater rollout plan is becoming more common with the rise of streaming services. Netflix did something similar last year with their marquee film “The Irishman.” Netflix put it in a limited theater run throughout November in the few weeks leading up to its release date on their service. A plan like this allows for your film to be in consideration for Academy Award nominations. Previously, films needed to be in theaters in both New York and Los Angeles for at least a week in order to be eligible for awards consideration, but the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in more relaxed eligibility rules. Regardless, Apple and A24 were smart to put “On The Rocks” in limited theaters to make it more accessible to the people who are not subscribed to Apple TV+.
I would highly recommend “On The Rocks.” Given our age as college students, this movie will likely make
you want to call your parents. It may be a clichéd story, but that speaks to the quality of the performances by the two leads. Bill Murray and Rashida Jones’ believable relationship is what makes you want to watch, even if you can predict where the story is taking you. It never quite hits the levels of Sofia Coppola’s other films such as “Lost In Translation,” but it’s a short, sweet and intimate film that simply explores this father and daughter dynamic. I wouldn’t be shocked if Bill Murray’s performance is still talked about during the awards season next year. It’s the type of heartwarming story that our world needs to see right now in the midst of the crazy times we live in.
“On The Rocks” is currently streaming on Apple TV+.
Sources: Box Office Mojo