Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and discussion of drugs
Written by Mark Andrus
Directed by Rob Reiner
Starring Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Sterling Jerins, Annie Parisse and more
Sometimes, it’s good to act your age.
“And So It Goes,” the new movie Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, is at its best when it embraces the fact that it’s a traditional romantic comedy between two senior citizens. Though flashes of edginess come off as simply ridiculous - as do the few times the movie simply reaches beyond its capabilities - it mostly manages to be a heartwarming, mildly charming look at starting your second act.
The plot involves Michael Douglas as a curmudgeonly realtor still mourning his dead wife and planning to retire.
This changes when he gains temporary custody of a granddaughter he’s never met before, and the experience slowly melts his heart. It also causes him to fumble into a romance with Diane Keaton’s character, his neighbor, who still cries over her dead husband but falls hard for Douglas’s granddaughter.
Douglas, surprisingly, actually plays a character who acts his age for once, and he brings more thoughtfulness and understanding to the role than I had remembered he was capable of.
Diane Keaton is essentially herself, though a little ditzier than usual, but her onscreen persona is so warm and pleasant that I was never moved to complain. Her exasperated looks were a considerable help in smoothing over some of the movie’s rough edges.
Despite her efforts, there were still a few too many rough edges. The movie’s attempts at seeming “modern” Р random hookups, some language issues Р were as embarrassing as when people try to use modern slang without actually understanding it.
The movie also includes the least realistic delivery scene I have ever seen in a movie, including the parodies. I’m aware they might not have had the budget to do more, but if that was the case they should have kept the thing offscreen and let us fill in the details for ourselves.
Still, there’s a surprising amount of things to like in the movie. It embraces its cliches wholeheartedly, and except for a few missteps seems to revel in the fact that it’s the kind of utterly traditional, old-fashioned romantic comedy Reiner used to make all the time. It’s heartwarming, focuses on the importance of family and friends, and leaves as many characters as possible better off than they were when they started.
Watching “And So It Goes,” I got the sense that Reiner desperately misses that kind of movie, and made an imperfect one because he felt having something of its kind in theaters was better than nothing.
To my surprise, I also realized that I had missed them a little, too. They’re far from exciting, but there’s something comforting about a pleasant story that you know will end happily for everyone. Just because something isn’t cool, that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time.