And So It Goes is a bleak reminder that the intimidating Gordon Gecko and quirky Annie Hall are senior citizens these days, but after you stomach that, the film has some touching moments hidden beneath an obvious plot.
Michael Douglas (Wallstreet) stars as Oren Little, a Scrooge-y real-estate agent and widower who enjoys making everyone’s lives a little bit more miserable. His counterpart is Leah (Diane Keaton, Annie Hall), a kind lounge singer who can’t seem to keep her emotions in check while performing.
Oren is trying to sell his mansion, at full price, so he can go retire off into the sunset and mourn his wife in peace. But all that goes out the window when he finds out his former-addict son is going to jail, which leaves his daughter (Sterling Jerins) with grandpa.
But there’s something about Michael Douglas’ performance that makes you feel sorry for Oren, despite his attempts at pushing his granddaughter on Leah. It’s revealed, sometimes with too heavy of a hand, that Oren’s son was addicted to heroin. At his mother’s funeral his car rolled down the hill — a sin never forgiven by Oren, which causes them not to speak for a decade.
Leah takes pity on Oren’s granddaughter and tries to break the ice around his heart; in return he tries to help her get over her husband’s death. The banter between Keaton and Douglas is amusing, but everything in their relationship feels like it happens too quickly. But maybe that’s love?
Reiner, the man behind When Harry Met Sally, hasn’t had a big hit since the ’90’s, and it shows throughout the film. The crude jokes that worked so well in Harry Met Sally are somewhat funny in And So It Goes, but they come off a little forced and gross. The film also has more plot than it knows what to do with; Leah’s back story with her husband is left mostly untouched, and the details of Oren’s heroin-addicted son are thrown in haphazardly. Reiner leaned hard on Douglas and Keaton to carry the film and make it dramatic.
But for viewers who are looking a good cry, the ending of And So It Goes somewhat redeems the rest of it.