Directed by: Rob Reiner
Written by: Mark Andrus
Stars: Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Sterling Jerins, Annie Parisse, Austin Lysy, Michael Terra
“And So It Goes” might remind you one of those “generic” comedies where highly respected veterans of the silver screen appear together to remind viewers, once again, of their existence, and perhaps to earn a little money. However, when the actors are Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, you catch yourself thinking- there is no need for Keaton and Douglas to remind us of their presence since they are still as good as they always were. You won’t see a lifetime performance by either actor in a film like “And So It Goes”, but nevertheless, still solid performances.
When you`re an aging man, like Oren Little (Michael Douglas), you want to live your life the way you want, not the way the others dictate – even if the person ‘dictating’ is your own son. Oren has earned a reputation of being cantankerous and bad-tempered, with a self-centered personality. He is a self-absorbed, but very successful, realtor, who wishes to do one thing before he retires – to sell one last house – his own. But everything turns upside down for Oren when his troubled son, Luke (Scott Shepherd), appears on his front doorstep with a granddaughter he didn’t know even existed. Luke asks his father to look after his daughter for nine months, while he serves his time in prison.
Oren does not want to have the responsibility for looking after the 10-year-old little girl- Sarah (Sterling Jerins), so his neighbor, Leah, (Diane Keaton) overhearing Oren`s discussion with his son, invites Sarah over to her house. Oren, still not happy having his grandchild, who is virtually a stranger living in his house, finds the mission of taking care of her almost impossible, so he asks Leah(Diane Keaton) to help him. During this time, Oren learns to be kinder, more cheerful, and learns to care for his grandchild, while his heart also softens towards Leah. Soon they both realize that they have fallen in love with each other.
Rob Reiner is one of the director heavy-weights in Hollywood. His “When Harry Met Sally…”, “Princess Bride”, “Misery”, “A Few Good Men” and “The American President” are already modern classics. Reiner brings uniqueness to every film he makes. Certainly, “And So It Goes” is not as good as “The American President”, where Douglas played alongside Annette Bening , but it is still charming and beautiful in its own way. Reiner delivers the story, written by Mark Andrus, perfectly. He tells the story of two souls who live on the same street, but don’t know each other very well, until a little girl appears at their doorstep and helps them to see each other from different perspectives. Andrus describes, well, the life of two people who seek (or maybe not) out their soulmates in different places, only to find that person living right next door.
Diane Keaton plays Leah, a bar-singer, who tries to earn enough money to live, while Douglas has earned enough and is getting ready for his retirement. Keaton has not changed her style since the day I first saw her on the screen. She always looks glamorous, stylish, and beautiful. Her performance in this film is more touching than ever because she sings a song in this film – her first since Annie Hall. And she does it really well – singing right into the hearts of her audience. Douglas is good as usual. He might have changed since his appearance in “The American President”, but he is still charming, and knows perfectly well, maybe even better than before, how to treat a woman like Diane Keaton on the screen. This is something that you can`t miss seeing throughout the film and that is watching both actors attitudes towards each other change and the respect that grows with every scene.
In conclusion, the cycle of life never changes. “And So It Goes” is a very simple movie that is filled with moments that are meant to teach us important lessons and pull at our heartstrings. This film is mostly for a mature audience, who would be more likely to deal with the issues presented, but it still can be enjoyable for a younger audience. Overall, it’s a sweet movie with a lot of heart, which surely is hard to come by in many films of today.