And So It Goes Review
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As a director, Rob Reiner’s filmography reads like it could be someone’s list of all-time favorite movies: This Is Spinal Tap, Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally... Now, as Reiner ages, so, it seems, does his target audience. But in trying to recapture some of the heart and humor of his classic films in And So It Goes, he struggles to find the right balance.

And So It Goes stars Michael Douglas as Oren Little, a slick real estate agent who spends his free time tormenting the other residents of his waterfront fourplex—until his estranged son, Luke (Scott Shepherd), comes along to shake up his self-centered lifestyle. Luke is about to be sent to prison, and he’s afraid that his daughter, Sarah (Sterling Jerins), will end up in foster care. Oren has no interest in helping his troubled son—or caring for a granddaughter he’s never met—but when Luke shows up with Sarah in tow, Oren’s next-door neighbor, Leah (Diane Keaton), steps in to help. And as Oren searches for a way to get rid of his granddaughter, Leah offers her the comfort and friendship that the lonely little girl so desperately needs.

At its heart, And So It Goes is a sweet little comedy about letting go of bitterness and baggage to fall in love again—whether it’s with an adorable little girl or the flighty woman next door. The film’s quaint seaside surroundings and the friendly neighbors give it plenty of warmth and charm. But while that helps to balance out some of the main characters’ all too frequent hysterics, it’s not enough to keep the film from feeling chaotic—and a little bit crotchety.

Though Keaton is often lovably wacky as the widowed lounge singer with a tendency to cry through her sets (while somehow still managing to keep her job), she has more than her share of over-the-top moments. Leah may be the kind, loving grandma type, but she’s also overemotional and frantic, with wild mood swings that seem to come out of nowhere.

Douglas, meanwhile, is perfectly comfortable in his role as the aging playboy who insults everyone he meets—but that’s because he’s played the same character time and time again. Although he has his amusing moments, Oren is anything but lovable, using his wife’s death as an excuse for repeatedly crossing the line from insulting to offensive.

Just like its characters, the story is also random and unbalanced—sometimes charming and heartfelt, sometimes uncomfortably overdone. The drama often feels forced and unnatural, while the more outrageous comedic moments are painfully clichéd. And, in the end, it feels like a film that simply couldn’t figure out what it wanted to be.

While older viewers may appreciate the baby boomer romance of And So It Goes, its charm and easy-going humor are often overshadowed by its clichéd craziness. So if you’re looking for romance and laughs for an older audience, pick up a copy of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel instead.

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