'And So It Goes' plays too cutesy with Douglas-Keaton match-up

Rob Reiner's stay-cute approach in 'And So It Goes' limits Michael Douglas-Diane Keaton pairing

What would "And So It Goes" be without Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton? It's hard to fathom, because even with these star wattage pros, Rob Reiner's senior citizen romantic comedy is about as engaging as a drooling nap on a porch.

As widowed, bickering four-plex neighbors who already seem thisclose to hooking up, Douglas and Keaton nimbly call their well-oiled personae — tart-tongued crank and cheery neurotic, respectively — into service for a story in which Douglas' reformed-junkie son drops off a 9-year-old granddaughter (Sterling Jerins) for place holder caretaking and, we assume, melting a burgeoning codger's stingy heart. It's hard to generate emotion, though, when Douglas' irascibility feels like an excuse for one-liners rather than something ingrained.

You could boil an egg to the prescribed beats in Mark Andrus' lazy screenplay, the saving grace of which is a mildly refreshing acceptance of retirement age as still time to dream: Keaton's character is a budding nightclub singer (and it's still a joy to watch her croon). But the somnambulant slickness of the direction when a truly grown-up tale of late-in-life love is nipping at the edges suggests Reiner is more stubbornly set in his stay-cute approach than his leads, who at least find the occasional pocket of human messiness in this tension-free exercise.


"And So It Goes."

MPAA rating: Rated PG-13 for some sexual references and drug elements.

Running time: 1 hour, 34 minutes.

Playing: In general release.

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