Taking place over two nights (plus a coda scene at the end), Jacobs’ film can never shake its scenic roots, featuring its six leads in pairs of two. Grace (Diane Keaton, practically parodying herself while bizarrely playing an evangelical Christian) spends the night chatting with Sam (William H. Macy, finding more humanity in her role than the rest of the cast) after meeting him in an arthouse film where he was sobbing alone in silence. Unbeknownst to them, their respective spouses Howard (Richard Gere) and Monica (Susan Sarandon) are together in a fancy hotel, about to end the affair they have had for four months. Meanwhile, their adult children Allen (Luke Bracey) and Michelle (Emma Roberts) have been dating for so long that during their friend’s wedding, she’s the only bridesmaid who wants to grab the bouquet so she can get started. happily ever after, but somehow their respective parents never met.
This is meant to be a prank, so wacky coincidences are par for the course. Yet the editing of this first half of the film is an absolute mess, without rhyme or reason when it shifts the perspectives between the three couples. There’s no emotional shift between scenes, even when “big things” happen to them. Moreover, despite an ongoing affair, a possible affair, and a relationship on the verge of marriage, each coupling is as chaste and asexual as an after-school special.
Jacobs has no visual sense, filming most scenes with bizarre wide shots that alienate his actors from each other and the audience. Scenes that should resonate on deep emotional levels fall flat in its penchant for twosomes rather than trusting its actors with close-ups. When the action shifts to their respective homes, they look less like lived-in homes than open houses, sparsely decorated by a real estate agent with the actors posed for a brochure.
In addition to the lack of chemistry between the cast and the antiseptic vibe of their dwellings, everyone is wedded to absurdly antiquated dialogue. When Grace mentions how weird it is that they’ve never met the parents of their daughter’s boyfriend, Howard replies “no dad wants to meet the dad of the man who gets it for free from his daughter.” . Readers, I cracked up.
The script particularly paints women in the most regressive lights. Grace berates her for becoming “a potato” due to Howard’s neglect as if she has no sense of herself apart from how he treats her. Monica is chosen as a harpy who harangues her husband and her lover. She also picks a fight with a younger woman, jealous of the woman’s beautiful hair and face, as if Susan Sarandon isn’t an absolute smoke show yet and knows it. She later says she’s “done with a corpse” when Gere reveals that her character is 68 years old (in real life, Sarandon is 76, Gere is 73). Worse still, Monica’s sexuality and confidence are believed to be the only reason her marriage is failing. Meanwhile, Michelle seems to have planted her entire existence on whether or not she and Allen get married. We never know what her job is or if she has any friends (beyond the aforementioned wedding bride) or a life outside of Allen.
Maybe I Do Movie Review & Movie Summary (2023) | Pretty Reel