The Dallas Movie Screening Group

This is the homepage of the Dallas Movie Screening Group. To join our mailing list you must sign up at our group page on Yahoo. You will then be connected to receive notices on how to find passes to the local screenings in the DFW area. It's up to you to pickup or sign up for passes. You can also barter, trade or just giveaway passes you don't want, need or share with other members of the group. Please read the instructions on the Yahoo page very carefully before posting. This group is closely moderated so that your mail box is not full of spam or other unnecessary mail. We appreciate everyone's consideration and cooperation.

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

And So It Goes





I must say it is nice to see Michael Douglas back on the screen, looking relatively healthy, this time playing Oren  Little.  Oren is an almost retired realtor whose last task is to sell the estate that he and his late wife raised their son in.  Oren is irascible, cranky and quick with the barbs and is not embarrassed to say whatever is on his mind at the time. He is the consummate curmudgeon who tends not to allow one positive thing out of his mouth.

Next door to him, in the quadplex he owns, lives classy older widowed lounge singer, Leah, played by a less neurotic and excitable than normal Diane Keaton.  This odd couple pairing sets the tone for the arrival of Oren's 9 year old grand daughter (Sterling Jerkins), the one he didn't know he had. Owen and his son [Scott Shepherd) have become estranged over the years, due to drug involvement issues, and when he appears on Oren's doorstep with child in tow, announcing he has a short prison stint to serve and that he needs his father to take care or the girl, it is clear that Oren wants nothing to with childcare or attempting to raise another child in any way. He also longs to escape from the two families who live upstairs. They are Young family with annoying young twins and Young marrieds expecting their first child.   He wants to just ride off into the sunset, north of affluent Connecticut, and marinate in his self imposed exile at his retirement home in Vermont. 

Oren's immediate inclination is to walk back into his apartment and leave Sarah with Leah. Leah is the perfect nurturer, seeking to alleviate Sarah's insecurities and fears and help her settle in, which helping Oren to find it within himself to accept her.   Oren wants nothing more than to deliver the child to her biological mother, who they locate after a short hunt but even he is not heartless enough to consider doing that after considering everything he witnesses.

Predictably, the plot items becomes clear.  Will Leah and Oren get together? Will Oren embrace his inner-grandfather?  Will Leah and Oren both get over their personal losses and love again?  Will the young upstairs neighbor lady deliver her first born on Oren's couch with Leah and Oren as coaches?    Will Oren sell his house, despite being a horse' rear end?  Will the residents of the waterfront quadplex all gather amicably at the end in the front yard to view Oren's grand daughter's video project on the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to butterfly? Will Oren, Luke and Sarah become one big happy family?  Hard to say if most of us really care but the viewer tends to know the answers about halfway through.

Besides the delivery scene, the only other genuine "hoot" moments of this film are the appearances made by Frances Sternhagen (Claire) who works in Owen's real estate office. Claire has known him for years, doesn't put up with his quips, and often one ups him at his own game. She portrays one sharp cookie. 

Somehow I expected more substance and depth from Rob Reiner (director) who even makes a cameo as Leah's piano player.  Frankie Valli makes an additional cameo as Leah's new boss in an upscale supper club. This is a movie your parents will enjoy, if they are over 60. It is a movie that is family friendly but will hold little interest to the under 30 viewer. Douglas's Oren is nothing new, nothing special and quite predictable but I do hope we see more of Mr. Douglas in the future...and it is a delight to see our darling neurotic Diane with a little more inner control this go around. 
(Review by Cheryl Wurtz)




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