"And So It Goes"
Release Date: July 25, 2014
Running Time: 94 minutes
When it came to women, Michael Douglas’ yuppies and authority figures never had much luck. They proved hazardous to Douglas’ health in Fatal Attraction, The War of the Roses, Basic Instinct, and Disclosure. Love almost cost Douglas the White House in The American President. That was then and this is now. In the romcom And So It Goes, which reunites Douglas with his American President director Rob Reiner, the aging heartthrob plays a cranky widower who’s given up on a second shot at love. It doesn’t help that Douglas’s realtor is a disagreeable fellow with the nasty habit of alienating his friends, family, and colleagues. He’s very much a social misanthrope in the mold of Jack Nicholson in As Good as It Gets, which And So it Goes screenwriter Mark Andrus also wrote. Enter Douglas’ tenant, Diane Keaton’s aspiring lounge singer. She’s still grieving for her husband, which requires the otherwise dignified Keaton to burst into tears at every possible moment. We get the message after the second or third Keaton breaks down sobbing that her lonely widow can’t move on with her life; by the 10th time, Keaton’s just fishing for sympathy. Douglas and Keaton have nothing in common beyond the loss of their respective spouses. But it’s not long before this mismatched couple set aside their differences and act on their mutual attraction. It’s one thing to hop into bed with someone you can’t stand; it’s another thing to fall in love with that person. If Reiner asked whether men and women can just be friends with When Harry Met Sally …, And So it Goes finds him exploring the fine line between love and hate. Douglas and Keaton are so set in their ways that they are their own worst enemies when it comes to enjoying happiness in their old age. They are one and the same. They both face a lonely life in their old age, and how they react to this informs And So it Goes. Mark Andrus’ script, through, doesn’t possess the same compelling characters, sharp wit, and telling observations that made As Good as It Gets sparkle. So it’s down to Douglas and Keaton to make And So it Goes work through their testy dynamic. Douglas, in particular, relishes being in “Get off my lawn” mode for much of And So it Goes—that is, until he must reveal his human side via a subplot involving the granddaughter he has never met before. Douglas’ relationship with his granddaughter is handled as predictably as his on-again, off-again romance with Keaton. It’s shame to see Reiner go through the motions with And So It Goes, but it doesn’t come as a surprise. His best work is long behind him. And So It Goes is the rare romcom that dares to explore the possibility of love after 60, and while it’s welcomed in that respect, it nevertheless represents a missed opportunity for Reiner.
Aired: July 24, 2014
Web site: http://andsoitgoesthemovie.com/