"I want what she's having," remains one of the most infamous lines ever written in film history. (When Harry Met Sally)
And there are plenty of new ones in And So It Goes
Now turn the pages of this comedic family album and jump ahead. Diane Keaton is superb in this film. There isn't a step in her body language or affect in the tone of her voice that doesn't demonstrate her brilliance as an actor. Everybody loves Keaton at any age in any part. She can do no wrong. In this particular role as (Leah) a middle-aged widow, she paves the way for so many women like herself who are her audience (or will become) and are out there looking for love. Isn't finding and being in love everything? At first glance it's not at the top of his list. Michael Douglas plays Oren Little a petered out and always perturbed middle-aged widower whose down in the dumps luck and misfortune; having lost his wife to cancer and son to drugs, brings new meaning to male menopause. Nothing seems to please him but the olives in his nightly vodka martini. A fanciful guy, plenty of debonaire, a real estate salesman who sports a vintage white Mercedes convertible and has the panache of a tycoon living in his beloved Shangri La quad plex while waiting for a 8.6 million dollar sale from his beloved family home. A price ONLY he knows he will get. In his brilliant interpretation of this character (memories of real life realtors in Beverly Hills like the legendary Mike Silverman who also sported a Mercedes) he wallows in his own misery and dysfunctional addiction to hoarding. Lots of unopened boxes of stuff. Who can't relate speak now and get help! With Reiner's golden directorial touch and character development he turns Little in to a bigger man in reality. Douglas imparts the quintessential masculinity of a man so not in touch with his own reality that it takes a mirrored reflection ( a woman close to his age) Keaton to remind him of how screwed up he is in and out of bed. Bravo! I can see Nora Ephron dancing in the clouds with a big smile on her face and probably saying, " I got what she's having and now I am glad to be outta there." When a man looses the love of his life his world falls apart and so does his laundry. All too often that hidden sensitivity (mostly attributed to women) is never unearthed or able to be released. And here comes the magic of their chemistry; a couple of Snowy Owls wise beyond their years and fearless with backlashing words like in a ping pong match reveals more than just actors on a screen. Douglas whose real life drama and bout with cancer surfaces and implodes in character to provide one of the most realistic and heartfelt performances of his long and lustrous career. Keaton plots and pours her own personal ammunition into Leah who is able to cut the umbilical chord tied to their grieving hearts. And with lines so memorable you'll want to keep them at your bedside table, next to the names of mortuaries in your hood. Okay okay! I get where Corliss is coming from. Yes! We are losing friends like flies to a swatter. There is more cancer alive and thriving than people or so it seems. But if we are gonna "shop talk" at our local coffee houses we might as well treat ourselves to more than just nonfat foam on our coffees. And So It Goes is the real thing so you better take notes.