Los Angeles, Oct 23 (efe-epa).- Filmmaker Sofia Coppola and actor Bill Murray are teaming up again after their success in “Lost in Translation” to make “On the Rocks,” a comedy about the renewed relationship between a father and his daughter amid the latter’s failing marriage that is reminiscent of the New York love affairs depicted in Woody Allen’s work.
Murray and Rashida Jones (from “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office”) star in this latest film directed by Coppola that navigates between the differing views the two generations have about love, children, professional and life expectations.
“I had a friend who told me a story about spying on her husband with her father and it just made me think I would like to see a comedy caper with a father-daughter buddy adventure,” Coppola told EFE in a virtual interview with media outlets.
“On the Rocks,” which starts streaming this week on Apple TV+, is the reunion of Murray and Coppola after the acclaimed “Lost in Translation,” although the tone of the present film is completely different from the melancholy air that infused the earlier work.
This time, the actor plays an extroverted art dealer, seducer and pleasure lover who holds Manhattan in the palm of his hand and refuses to spend a single minute being bored.
The attitude of this New York bon vivant, which Coppola said is that of the “martini men generation,” runs up against the reality of his daughter, whose marriage is crumbling amid its stultifying routine, boredom and the writer’s block that inhibits her in her career as an author.
Jones plays Laura, who gradually starts to suspect her husband, the father of their two daughters, of cheating on her, and she and Murray – as her wealthy playboy father Felix – launch an investigation throughout the Big Apple, or the higher-end portion of it, to spy on her husband and uncover the infidelity, a process that brings their own values and beliefs into conflict, specifically the father’s promiscuity and the daughter’s supposed lack of ambition.
“I have some friends that are artists and have kids and we were talking about just how you do that after also having a family – it kind of came from those conversations,” Coppola said.
“There is a kind of generation of men and they were the ones that drink martinis and smoke cigars and are connected with kind of old world way of life that you don’t see as much now and, of course, their perspectives are different,” she added, recalling her filmmaker father, the iconic Francis Ford Coppola, who directed “The Godfather” and “Apocalypse Now,” in talking about possible autobiographical elements in the plot.
There is something of Woody Allen in this latest Sofia Coppola film with the classic elements of his work: New York, a couple who doesn’t understand each other, characters who have become used to fleeing from their problems, surrealist conflicts … but with a feminist perspective that the filmmaker defends.
“I’m so glad that there are more and more stories that are told from a woman’s point of view,” she said.
Selecting New York – the world’s most-filmed city – as the location of the plot, has allowed Coppola to add the city to the cast as yet another character, much as she did with hectic Tokyo in “Lost in Translation,” the quiet and depressing upper-middle-class Detroit suburbs in “The Virgin Suicides” and the ostentatiously ornate Versailles Palace in “Marie Antoinette.”
In contrast, however, “On the Rocks” maintains one of the constants in Coppola’s films: the characters feel alienated within their own environment. In “Lost,” Scarlett Johansson’s character was bored within the immensity of Tokyo, and now Jones loses her motivation amid the speedy and breathless bustle of New York.
Murray’s character is also shown as out of place because he believes he has everything under control up to the point where he stops feeling the world he thought he knew.
The resulting confusion of the characters within their environment is handled elegantly under Coppola’s direction in her first Apple coproduction with the A24 studio, which has turned out “Euphoria,” “Moonlight,” and “Lady Bird.”