On the cusp of forty and staring down a deadline for delivery of a book she can’t seem to write, Laura (Rashida Jones), the mother of two lively young girls, has begun to suspect that her husband, Dean (Marlon Wayans), is cheating on her. In On the Rocks, director Sofia Coppola “utilizes the comic-melancholic tone that she perfected in Somewhere,” writes Chuck Bowen at Slant. “A shot of Laura lying on her bed, as one of those little robot vacuums buzzes about in hapless circles, instantly evokes Laura’s ennui.” Ultimately, though, On the Rocks “has a bounce—a swing and sense of hopefulness—that’s new to Coppola’s work.”
Noting in the Los Angeles Times that Coppola shot On the Rocks in New York last summer, Justin Chang points out that “the sights and sounds of COVID-free nightlife—the background music, the barroom chatter, the clink of plates and silverware, the enveloping shadows of Philippe Le Sourd’s cinematography—are likely to induce an exquisite sense of nostalgia . . . Seen in the harsh glare of the present, the characters’ problems—generational differences, marital anxieties, creative inertia—might seem both derivative and almost desirably quaint, though in a way that produces more sympathy than scorn.” And for Scout Tafoya at RogerEbert.com, On the Rocks is “the kind of doodle only a truly skilled director could produce.”
Following last week’s premiere in New York, On the Rocks is opening in theaters this weekend. Anyone reluctant to venture into a theater right now won’t have to wait long, though, as Apple TV+ will begin streaming the film on October 23.