And So It Goes

 
(i)

 

Lukewarm romcom has some drug content, swearing.
  • Review Date: July 25, 2014
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 94 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Forgiveness is powerful and changes everyone -- both the forgiven and the forgiver. Sometimes, the crustiest exterior can mask a soft center, as it is with Oren. And those who struggle with addiction can find themselves in a better place.

Positive role models

Almost everyone in the film is well-intentioned and kind-hearted except Oren, who's rude, sometimes mean, and prejudiced (he sizes people up based on ethnic stereotypes). He's angry about the loss of his wife and disappointed in his son, but he does change for the better over the course of the film.

Violence

A character shoots a dog with a paint gun. An addict talks about robbing houses. Neighbors get testy with each other.

Sex

A flirtation ends up with two people in bed -- they're shown kissing and, later, under the covers, shoulders bared, presumably post-coital. Some discussion about sex lives.

Language

Words used include "s--t," "a--hole," and "d--k."

Consumerism

Brands/logos/products seen include Apple iPhone, MacBook Pro, Duck Dynasty, and Bed, Bath, Beyond.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Adults drink socially (mojitos, martini, wine). A real estate agent always smokes a cigarette (even indoors). A man is shown wobbly and obviously drunk getting out of his car, presumably having just driven. A character is a cleaned-up heroin addict. In one scene, Oren goes to an addict’s apartment to track down Sara's mother; there are junkies tripping there. When Sara meets her mother, she's strung out on heroin.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that And So It Goes is a Rob Reiner-directed romcom about sullen, widowed real estate agent Oren Little (Michael Douglas), who's estranged from his adult son ... who one day shows up unexpectedly and asks Oren to take in the granddaughter he didn't know he had. It's a situation ripe for disappointment and mistakes, which include Oren introducing the girl to her long-lost mother, a heroin junkie, and discussing serious topics (including his flirtation with the next-door neighbor, played by Diane Keaton) and just being the disgruntled person he is. Expect some swearing (including "s--t" and "a--hole"), sometimes in front of children, as well as smoking, drinking, drug use, implied sex, and themes that are too mature for younger kids.

What's the story?

Oren Little (Michael Douglas), a Connecticut real estate broker, is an outright curmudgeon. He's crass, prejudiced (he sizes people up by ethnic stereotypes), will shoot a dog with a paintball gun, and blocks the driveway of his apartment building, never mind that his pregnant tenant can't park close to her home. Part of the reason he's so bitter is due to the death of his wife, whom he nursed until she passed away. He's also lost contact with his son, a junkie who shows up at the family home, now for sale, asking his dad to care for his tween daughter (Sterling Jerins) while he serves a stint in prison. Never mind that Oren has never even met his grandchild. If not for Leah (Diane Keaton), a neighbor and tenant who takes a liking to his granddaughter, where would Oren be? But the man has a special talent for getting in his own way.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Director Rob Reiner has made a number of excellent films, including When Harry Met Sally and This is Spinal Tap. But AND SO IT GOES won't be joining that list. Despite the presence of greats Douglas and Keaton, the movie suffers from an extreme lack of momentum and fails to elicit enough emotional investment in its characters and what happens. Yes, there are stakes -- having your former junkie son show up with a kid you've never met certainly ups the ante -- and, yes, there's a romance that doesn't go smoothly. But it all unfolds in a lackluster manner that subverts any energy the movie musters. A few side plots, including Keaton's character's attempts to launch a cabaret career, are distracting.

That said, Douglas and Keaton are delightful (especially Keaton), even if their chemistry barely ignites. And when it comes to what the movie is all about, Reiner goes for the obvious answers. For instance, could there be a more on-the-nose symbol than caterpillars -- which one character keeps as part of a science experiment -- metamorphosing into butterflies? And so it goes, indeed -- just not very impressively.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what role drugs/drug use plays in And So It Goes' plot. How did drugs get in the way of Oren's relationship with his son? What are the other consequences of substance use here? Are they realistic?

  • Hollywood often pairs disgruntled men with kind women who are depicted as softening them. What do you make of this cliche? How does it play out here?

  • What audience do you think this movie is aimed at? How can you tell?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 25, 2014
DVD release date:November 18, 2014
Cast:Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Yaya Alafia
Director:Rob Reiner
Studio:Clarius Entertainment
Genre:Comedy
Run time:94 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:some sexual references and drug elements

This review of And So It Goes was written by

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Learning ratings

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  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
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  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old July 27, 2014
 

funny.

References to heroin, some drinking, kissing and swearing.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byParents view August 16, 2014
 

Disappointed....could have been so much better

I took my 11 year old daughter after reading the reviews and thought it was something she could handle. I was very disappointed in the content. Right in the beginning the character Oren uses the word "d..k" to reference a boys sexual part. Repeats the word a couple times. The movie had too many sexual situations. They were not "implied", it was quite evident what was going on. I should have listened to the rating of pg-13 vs the review written here. The drug scenes were very obvious as well.....not sugar coated.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Kid, 8 years old May 14, 2015
 

Stupid drama/romance is weird, and has language, racy stuff, and drugs.

My rating R for: racy content, language, drug use, and violence.

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