Movie Review: 'And So It Goes' (2014)

Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton shine in their first joint venture as co-stars. Directed with a deft hand by Rob Reiner, he keeps the heartfelt moments tenderly genuine, while maintaining a comedic bite. “And So It Goes” tells the tale of the curmudgeonly Oren (Douglas) who is emotionally isolated and an annoyance to most of those around him.

On the opposite side of the spectrum is the perky and quirky Leah (Keaton), who is friendly and welcoming to everyone. When Oren’s granddaughter (an impressive Sterling Jerins) is dropped off by his estranged son, Leah steps in to help and the two find themselves drawn together.

What makes “And So It Goes” work so well is that it makes sense. It is logical that Oren has become the bitter man he is and it is equally believable that the eternally optimistic Leah would make a dent around his fortified heart.

Keaton and Douglas play off each other brilliantly with a zealous zing, Douglas’ steady energy complimenting Keaton’s exuberant chaos. It’s an on-screen match that one could only wish, would have happened sooner.

There’s a quality in this film that is simply feel-good. It walks an exhilarating path down the nostalgic road when movies were made to lift one’s spirits. Similar to Douglas’ recent “Last Vegas” and Keaton’s “The Big Wedding”, it tackles a series of situational struggles that are based around a family dynamic.

While the aforementioned “Last Vegas” used a soundtrack that attempted to play hip with a composition of Top 40, “And So It Goes” stays true to the era of its character’s youth. Pleasantly accenting the on-screen happenings are The Allman Brothers Band’s “Ramblin’ Man” and a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”.

There’s character development, a strong message about reconciliation and meaty roles for its Hollywood veterans. Mark Andrus's script never talks down to its audience, or makes superfluous jokes at its target generation’s expense. "And So It Goes" is a refreshingly breezy detour spent with two of Hollywood’s greatest stars, which is a fine way to spend an hour and a half. Rating: 7.2/10

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