This feel-good movie received negative reviews with the exception that it would probably appeal to the much older generation. Being a member of this revered group, I did enjoy “And So It Goes,” because of its talented cast - Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton, who were assisted by the cameo appearances of the Director Rob Reiner and famed singer Frankie Vallie.
Michael Douglas - Wikimedia
Oren Little (Michael Douglas) is a realtor looking forward to his retirement, if and when he can sell his own mansion which has a multi-million dollar price tag. Meanwhile he is staying in a condo complex (which he owns) called Little Shangri-La. He has not yet recovered from the trauma of his wife’s death due to cancer, which happened ten years ago. The experience has made him bitter, causing him to lash out at whomever he converses with.
Oren’s next-door neighbor in the complex is Leah (Diane Keaton) who is widowed also, and is trying to revive her career as a lounge singer. She admits to being 65 years old.
Oren’s life becomes complicated when his estranged son Luke, a former drug addict, stops by one day to inform his father that he has to serve some jail time for something he did not do. Oren learns for the first time that Luke has a nine-year-old daughter named Sarah who will need looking after during the time that Luke must spend in jail. The only person he can turn to is his father, Oren. Of course, Oren refuses, stating that he was unsuccessful in raising one child; he would not wish to take on another.
Diane Keaton - Wikimedia
Disregarding his father’s rant, Luke shows up the next day with Sarah, and walks away, leaving Oren to cope with his latest problem. Next-door neighbor Leah has witnessed the whole process and warms up to Sarah, inviting her in for ice cream. On the first night, Sarah stays with Leah, being invited to Leah’s bed when she is frightened while sleeping on the couch. The two bond well, and Leah’s mothering instincts come to the fore, even though she has had no children of her own.
It takes quite a while, but Oren finally warms to Sarah, and the three get along well. Oren and Leah have some heart-to-heart talks and Oren offers to become Leah’s agent as she is trying to break into the entertainment business again. Her big problem is that she can never finish a love song without breaking into tears. Oren advises her to seek a rapport with her audience, telling them stories of her own life and past loves. By the way, Rob Reiner plays the part of Artie, her piano accompanist, when she performs. Oren obtains an audition for Leah for a much more lucrative job than she has settled for. Again, a cameo role is filled by Frankie Vallie, who owns the club where Leah will now work. Since I am a big fan of Diane Keaton, I enjoyed hearing her rendition of some of the oldies she sings, such as “It Could Happen to You,” and “Shadow of Your Smile.” Her renditions were not spectacular, but were above average, and she learned not to cry towards the end of her songs.
Sub-plots abound, and Oren comes out as a racist towards Ray and Kennedy, a black couple who are condo tenants. Oren has a change of heart when he is the only one around to help Kennedy when she goes into labor. The grateful couple name their child Oren after the man who delivered their baby.
Director Rob Reiner - Wikimedia
It is not possible to present a spoiler since the film’s ending is so predictable. Oren and Leah do have a bedroom scene which did not turn out well, and Oren sells his multi-million dollar mansion, precipitating his retirement to a vacation spot he owns in Vermont. He almost leaves without saying goodbye to Leah.
We are aware that Rob Reiner’s romance comedies always end well, and he came through again here. Not everyone will be thrilled with this film which is somewhat hackneyed, but I loved watching the two main characters. Michael Douglas is easy on the eyes and is so talented, he makes every role believable. Diane Keaton is such a trooper, I have always admired her. If you are in the category known as “senior citizen,” I know you will enjoy this film.