‘And So It Goes’ is Rob Reiner far from his A game


Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton drink to forget they’re in “And So It Goes.” (Clarius Entertainment)

No director has the magic touch forever. Steven Spielberg gave us “The Color Purple” and “Schindler’s List,” but he’s also responsible for “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” Francis Ford Coppola solidified his place on the Mount Olympus of Film History with “The Godfather” and its “Part II” but came very close to tumbling off with “Part III.” Just because someone can conjure magic once or twice or 10 times doesn’t mean the charm will always work.

Which I guess explains Rob Reiner and his latest film, “And So It Goes,” out Friday. Here is what I liked about the film: It is short. Here is what I didn’t like: the script, the performances, the editing or the direction. And while I got to talk to Reiner, starting any interview with “What the hell, man?! You made ‘Stand By Me’! What is this crap?!” doesn’t set you up for any sort of meaningful conversation, which is, I think, the point of an interview.

We all make bad choices, of course. Today I chose to have enough caffeine that I am currently able to see music. But no one is paying me to give myself heart palpitations; neither have I made a career of inflicting involuntary bodily twitching onto others. Reiner got paid to direct “And So It Goes,” and (hopefully very few) people will pay money to see it. Like, real money! That could be spent on useful things! Like another Diet Coke! 

I just don’t understand why anyone thought making this movie was a good idea! What did Rob Reiner read in the script that made him think “comedy gold” — the fact that the leading man is a racist douchenozzle or the part where a pregnant lady suddenly goes into labor and says crazy things because ladies in labor are crazy? (I did 19 hours with a failed epidural. I assure you IT WASN’T FUNNY.) 

And what the hell, Diane Keaton?! I know it’s tough for older women to get parts, but sometimes a gal just has to sit back and count her “Annie Hall” money! How many more exclamation points will it take to convey how baffled I am that someone, at some stage, didn’t stop this scourge?!

It’s not Reiner’s first bad film, but his good films are so good that I’m still shocked when he cranks out a stinker. This is the guy who directed “This Is Spinal Tap,” “Misery” AND “The Princess Bride,” for heaven’s sake. He knows movies. Why, when it came to “And So It Goes,” didn’t he know better?

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Kristen Page-Kirby covers film for The Washington Post Express.
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Diana D'Abruzzo · July 25, 2014