On the Rocks

This film has a specific vibe, but I’m struggling to define it.

It’s melancholy. It’s fun. It’s quiet. It’s unexpected. It’s also a bit passive.

Weird mix, right? But it’s an enjoyable combination because Bill Murray and Rashida Jones are a good father-daughter pair.

In fact, the film is quite dull until Murray and Jones are on-screen together. Their rapport is the only propulsive part of the movie.

There’s nothing profound going on in this film. Murray does a variation on his Trickster God thing, which is fine because that’s his sweet spot. Jones has always thrived playing the straight person—the rolling-eye calm in someone else’s storm. She applies that skill well here.

The one area I wish they’d pushed on more is the fallout from charming narcissism. Murray’s character skates through life because he’s a flirty raconteur, but he leaves wreckage in his wake that he’s never forced to address. There’s a scene toward the end of the movie where Jones goes full blast, but none of it affect’s Murray’s character. He’s impervious to criticism. I don’t understand that choice. As society finally starts to address the long history of toxic masculinity, this film missed an opportunity to crack the veneer of “boys will be boys.”