Sometime you just need a movie like the older man walking out of the theater behind me commented to his wife, "Now there's a good old romance. I liked that." Well it's not quite that simple, And So It Goes, Rob Reiner's new film did not strike the professional critics that way. Micheal Douglas plays a crotchety old realtor who just wants to sell his last house and retire. Diane Keaton plays his neighbor a nightclub singer. Oren (Douglas) is able to get his way about almost everything until his son drops a granddaughter he never knew he had off on his doorstep for several months. Not only was this not in his plans, it doesn't suit, and he tries to pawn her off on Leah (Keaton).
The story is not necessarily as predictable as one would think. I am not a Keaton fan but found this to be a better role for her than usual. The role of Oren could have been written for Douglas. The story is funny and poignant. It does not lag and brings together a well rounded cast. My favorite is Claire played by Frances Sternhagen (a Tony award winning actress) as a straight shooting elder relative who works in the realty office and is one of the only people in world who understands Oren and one of the few people he trusts.
Perhaps the critics panned it because they compared this to Reiner's previous box office hits such as When Harry met Sally and The Bucket List. Comparing anything anyone does to When Harry met Sally is like going against Gone with the Wind, just move along. Let's just say Rob Reiner has not lost his talent. This is not a film for the critics. This is a film for those of us who want to escape the ugly news of the real world, house cleaning, and the office for 94 minutes and get lost in a story on the silver screen.
It is nice to walk out of a theater for once feeling good, not that we had seen a hero save the world, not that we witnessed a spectacular epic with a cast of thousands, or the film of the year people will talk about for weeks. Rather, we just know for an hour and a half we were able to see other people handle a situation as best they could without a lot of angst and screaming. And when it was all over, we realized that could have been us. Well, maybe not in Fairfield, Connecticut in a 8.6 million dollar home. Hey, but we can always dream.