Two old pros show the kids how chemistry works in a romantic comedy in And So It Goes, a love-the-last-time-around romp thatll give its target audience the warm fuzzies.
Diane Keaton dons one stylishly kicky outfit after another hats included trills La di dah, or words to that effect, and all is well in this high-rent corner of Connecticut, where the perfectly-coiffed Michael Douglas plays her permanently grumpy Realtor neighbor.
They fight, flirt, annoy and court like its 1979. This Rob Reiner comedy has the Oscar-winning heir to Hepburn and the Oscar-winning Son of Kirk in grandparent mode, just a couple of spry old-timers forced together when the grandkid he never knew moves in, and prefers the company of the neighbor lady who cannot stand him.
Oren Little (Douglas) is waiting on that one last big sale before retiring in tony suburban Bristol. After 44 years in the business, hes selling his priciest listing the $8 million mansion that was his home. Widowed, he drives to showings in his vintage Mercedes convertible, himself immaculately turned out, the house immaculately staged. Its over-priced, but telling him that sets him off.
His neighbors in the charming waterfront fourplex he has downsized to have to contend with rudeness, selfishness and general boorishness, which his second martini only accentuates. The little boys of one neighbor have a code phrase for cranky Oren: TOO MUCH NOISE!
Leah (Keaton) is a widowed lounge singer who fronts a jazz combo (Reiner plays the toupeed piano player) who cannot get through a set without talking about her late husband and weeping. The tactless Oren is the last guy shed be interested in, age-appropriate or not even after Oren shares his own widowhood woes.
But when his estranged, ex-junkie son (Scott Shepherd) shows up and drops Orens granddaughter, Sarah (Sterling Jerins), on Dad as he heads off to prison, Orens crankiness endures its toughest test. Leah steps in and that throws the two adults together, awkward though his pick-up lines eventually turn out to be.
Working from an undemanding Mark Andrus ( As Good as It Gets) script, Reiner steers closer to his old big-budget studio picture form. He did When Harry Met Sally in his prime, but his last film was the deservedly unseen Morgan Freeman twinkler The Magic of Belle Isle. His players know how to land a laugh, and he fills in around the leads with choice character player support. Jersey Boy Frankie Valli plays a club owner who might book Leah, and the great Frances Sternhagen is Orens only friend, a fellow Realtor who lets a few cute codger cusswords fly in between puffs of her ever-present unfiltered Camel.
Its all adorably light, aside from the odd, jarring moment when Oren has to face the ultra-realistic addicts of his sons former life. And the players are never less than game.
Mercifully, the movie isnt about the child. But the jokes, sight gags and comic situations never aim higher than cute and often fall short. Oren is kind of a half-hearted ogre, and Keatons Leah is half-greatest hits performance, half-wardrobe, with that wardrobe looking like half the pictures budget.
Still, seeing these veteran players go through their paces, find their comic rhythms and probe for laughs where many a laugh has been found before is not a bad thing. Now that everybody who wanted to see it has caught the story of Vallis life on the screen, heres a perfectly pleasant, if winded replacement, one with the real Frankie in it.