“There is only one end result, and that’s death,” Rob Reiner says.
It seems like an odd thing to say in an interview that’s ostensibly about “And So It Goes,” the actor-director’s newest romantic comedy (opening Friday).
“When I turned 60, I started thinking about myself as a very, very, very young old person. And all of those cliches that you kind of intellectually understand, you start internalizing as you get older,” Reiner says. “Life is precious, that it is something you need to embrace and enjoy as much as you can.”
That’s the driving point behind the film, which stars Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas as widowed neighbors who find new hope (and challenges) with each other. Navigating the world of budding romance as older people brings with it lighthearted moments (before getting down to business, Keaton’s Leah declares “I’m keeping my bra on!”) along with more serious ones.
“When you’re older, you know what’s at stake more,” Reiner, 67, says. “You may be a little more gun-shy because you know how painful a loss can be. You know what it feels like to have your heart broken, and some people at that age will shy away” from romance.
That said, the age of the characters didn’t change things much for the director of many rom-coms, including genre standout “When Harry Met Sally …”
“You’re still dealing with men and women, and no matter what age they are, to me the rules are the same,” he says. “It’s all about this wonderfully charged and awkward dance that we as men and women do with each other.”
“And So It Goes” does have something that other rom-coms lack, Reiner says: a definite message.
“What we want to say with this movie is you have those urges and those feelings all the way through life, and you only have this one chance,” he says. “You should not pass up the opportunity to be able to explore those feelings and live your life.”
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