Kyle J. Steenblik

And so it Goes is delightful and touching

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andsoitgoesRob Reiner’s newest film is a refreshing return to a comedic films and a reminder that sometimes directors don’t evolve as much as we would like.  While I found a great deal to enjoy in this film, I have doubts anyone much younger than myself would be able to say the same.  This is most definitely a comedy for an older generation, which is fine, older folks need films too.  Other than I see a problem with this film finding an eager audience at the box office, I found it charming, endearing, funny and dated.  I’m not really sure how a film clearly set in the present day can feel dated, yet, it does.  If this film was made 15 or 20 years ago, it would be comedy gold, and that really seems to be the worst thing I can say about how this film was directed.

My mild disappointment in Rob Reiner aside, I have very little negative to say about this film.  Michael Douglas was crass, endearing and a great deal of fun to watch.  Dianne Keaton was warm yet a rigid strait man batting deadpan jokes at the audience.  The two play off each other brilliantly, it’s really a pleasure to watch these two veterans verbally spar onscreen.  I do have to admit that Frances Sternhagen was the highlight of the film for me.  Pound for pound, she has more laughs than anyone else does, even for her limited screen time.  If I had to give anyone a single reason to see this film, it is because of her.

And So It Goes is about realtor Orin Little (Michael Douglas), who is one big sale away from retirement.  He is a miserable man; they say there are a million reasons not to like Oren Little.  Just ask everyone.  He and his neighbors share a mutual dislike for each other, but for the time being they are all stuck together.  One day, Oren’s son shows up to drop off Sarah (Sterling Jerins) the granddaughter Oren never knew he had.  Sara’s dad is going to prison for the next 9 months and without a mother in the picture, Orin is the last person on earth to take care of this young girl.  Fortunately, for Orin, his neighbor Leah (Diane Keaton), the amateur lounge singer and widow, takes Sara in when Orin turns his back.  Before long Orin remembers what is like to love, and be loved, and his life is changed forever.

There is no new ground broken in this story, no risks taken; even the risqué portions are so mild as to not risking offending anyone at any time.  It’s not wrong, or bad, it just leaves the film with a great deal of unfulfilled potential.  For the most part, as good as this movie is, as hard as I laughed, I know it could have been much more, which is always disappointing.

And So It Goes, it was dated and recycled humor, regardless of how funny it was, I couldn’t help but be slightly bored.  Even so it is an endearing comedy that will genuinely leave you feeling better than you did when you walked into the theatre, you just may not remember why.   3 out of 5

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