And So It Goes is another one of those old, hackneyed romantic comedies in the same vein as It’s Complicated and Something’s Gotta Give, where a man and a woman who are a little past calling themselves ‘middle aged’ start out hating each other, but eventually learn that loathing isn’t all that far from head-over-heels, sing-it-from-the-rooftops love, then fall madly for each other and spend the rest of their lives together. And for some reason these stories always seem to play out in America’s upperclass societies where the characters wear a lot of white and beige outfits that are way more fashionable then your average granny, and live in big beautiful houses on the beach or in Wisteria Lane-esque suburbs. And So It Goes follows that exact same structure, the man being Oren Little (Michael Douglas), a bitter, narcissistic realtor who cares for little more than selling multi-million dollar houses, the woman being Leah (Diane Keaton), his caring and over-emotional next door neighbour who hasn’t fully recovered after her husband’s death.
Despite this very simplistic main storyline, the film at least has a semi-interesting subplot; Oren and Leah’s routinely lives are turned upside down when Oren’s estranged son, a recovering heroin addict, needs Oren to look after his nine-year-old daughter, Sarah (Sterling Jerins), while he serves a short jail sentence. Not able to connect to his granddaughter (or anyone for that matter), Oren passes Sarah off to Leah, who steps in to take care of her while Oren searches for the child’s estranged mother. This was the most interesting part of the film for me – watching this self-absorbed man struggle to build a relationship with this granddaughter he’s never met – and it was a plot point that definitely could have been explored more than it was. Instead, director Rob Reiner (The Bucket List, When Harry Met Sally…), focussed more on Leah and Oren’s slightly awkward budding romance, which to me was rather tedious and seemingly unrealistic. Neither characters are likable; Oren has very little sympathy for anyone around him, while Leah is nauseatingly melodramatic, and the pair just don’t seem like they would ever work together in real life.
In terms of the ‘comedy’, this movie completely misses the mark. Mark Andrus’ screenplay is utterly unfunny, even slightly unsavory at times, and the ‘romantic’ moments between the two leads are cliche at best. Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton brought nothing unique or engaging to their characters, which was really unfortunate considering Douglas got so much praise for his recent portrayal of Liberace in Behind the Candelabra. Some of the events that occurred throughout the movie verged on the ridiculous (including one home birth scene that just doesn’t quite add up), and you just weren’t left with the warm-and-fuzzy feeling you’re supposed to have at the end of a romantic comedy.
This is a very stock-standard film that breathes no new life into the tired story of finding love later in life. I can guarantee you’ve already seen a movie exactly like it, and unfortunately this one is probably the worst of the lot: a must-miss.
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