Tuesday, July 29, 2014

FILM REVIEW: As Sappy As It Gets

Some movies defy description. This is not one of them. Directed by the usually astute Rob Reiner, "And So It Goes" is about as sappy as it gets, which might have made a better title. It stars Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, two pedigreed professionals who we might expect could be choosy about their vehicles. Not so, I guess, based on this treacly debacle.

Too bad Douglas didn't shoot the director before this scene.
Keaton plays Annie Hall (not her real name), only now she's in her 60s, childless and widowed, still singing those warbly lounge tunes at every opportunity; sadly this film gives her too many opportunities. Douglas is Oren Little, a rakish, rich real estate agent who lives in the next apartment and hurls insults at all the tenants, which they tolerate since he owns the building.

Oren's been a mean old bastard since his wife died two years earlier, turning his heart to ice. But we understand all too soon that it will be melted and that he and Keaton will live happily ever after. The melting is accomplished by an adorable 9-year-old, Oren's surprise granddaughter by his estranged, heroin-addicted son who drops her off with Gramps on the way to serving a 9-month prison sentence.

She--her name escapes me-- wins the hearts of all the neighbors, including the requisite fabulous black couple whose baby is born with the help of Oren, and bonds with Keaton, who she dubs "Grandma" on sight. They all end up having a wonderful time in Little Shangri-La, which is the name of the apartment complex where they live. (Get it? Oren Little, Little Shangri-La?)

Yes, it is as nauseating as it sounds. The worst moment is when Rob Reiner directs himself to fall into a kiddie Slip and Slide, making him look even more foolish than his bad toupee or this whole stupid movie. To be fair, I laughed out loud four times, mostly at Douglas' wry delivery of his predictable dialogue.

No comments:

Post a Comment