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Self obsessed real estate agent Oren (Michael Douglas) has his life turned upside down when his estranged son leaves a grand-daughter he didn't know about in his care. Struggling with his newfound role of guardian, Oren turns to his neighbour Leah (Diane Keaton) for guidance and ultimately learns how to love again.

Review by Louise Keller:
The easy going charms of Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton blend beautifully in this discerningly funny rom-com with a pedigree. This is the kind of material that is second nature to director Rob Reiner, who also plays the uncredited toupee-wearing pianist with a crush on Keaton. The film shows its brand of humour from the outset when it's a little too smart for its own good and performances are slightly overplayed, but ends up exactly where it should - heartfelt and real without schmaltz - when the superficial is replaced by the meaningful.

When we meet Oren (Douglas) and Leah (Keaton), living side by side in Little Shangri-La, a subdivided house in Connecticut, there is nothing idyllic as the name might suggest. Dry martinis and mojitos do not make for happy neighbours; there is bitter animosity between all the residents, largely prompted by Oren's disdainful and inconsiderable manner. 'You need compassion,' Leah tells him, but we can see that the death of his wife and other circumstances have totally drained him. Douglas is the ace realtor with one more house to sell; Keaton is the lounge singer who struggles with her patter and drowns in her despair over her losses (Keaton has a pretty singing voice).

We feel as though we know them: they are comfortable and delightful company. Douglas combines wise cracks with savoir faire while Keaton is her emotionally vulnerable and expressive self. Together they have a playful spark and unbridled energy.

Catalyst for change comes in the shape of Oren's granddaughter Sarah (Sterling Jerins, sweet), a cute as a button 9 year old who lands on his doorstep when her father (Austin Lysy) goes to jail. 'I tried raising a child once before; it didn't work out,' he says pointedly. Don't look for too much reality when it comes to childcare, but there are amusing moments as the relationship between Douglas and Keaton progresses in the context of hilariously unromantic patter - in the lead up to The Kiss.

Amusing plot strands include the push-pull interaction with the detective neighbour (Maurice Jones) whose wife (Yaya DaCosta) is about to give birth to their first child and Frances Sternhagen is terrific as the real estate office assistant who has seen it all and who dishes out gems of wisdom.

The locations are beautiful - anyone familiar with Bridgeport and Black Rock will immediately recognise the Connecticut elegance and distinctive lifestyle. Marc Shaiman's score is lovely, too. But ultimately it's all up to Douglas and Keating who are both in great form and deliver on all counts in this warm, uplifting and funny interlude.

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(US, 2014)

CAST: Michael Douglas, Diane Keaton, Rob Reiner, Yaya DaCosta, Frankie Valli, Sterling Jerins, Paloma Guzmán, Frances Sternhagen

PRODUCER: Matt Damon, Alan Greisman, Rob Reiner

DIRECTOR: Rob Reiner

SCRIPT: Mark Andrus


EDITOR: Dorian Harris

MUSIC: Marc Shaiman


RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes



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