We meet egotistical real estate agent Oren Little (Michael Douglas) and a kind but unsuccessful Lounge singer Leah (Diane Keaton). They both live in a modern waterfront fourplex of which Oren is the landlord.
The subdivided house in Connecticut might be called Little Shangri-La, but there is little peace there due to the ongoing animosity between the residents, mainly due to Oren’s arrogant inconsiderate manner. This is not only felt by Leah and her family, but also detective neighbour, Ray (Maurice Jones), whose wife Kennedy (Yaya DaCosta) is just about to give birth to their first child. Oren (Douglas) lost his wife many years ago however, and so has no interest in anything or anyone.
This all changes when Oren’s son, Luke (Scott Shepherd), is sentenced to jail and his delightful nine year old granddaughter, Sarah, is lumped on his doorstep. This sends Oren into an absolute tailspin – what on earth does he do with a nine year old girl?
Leah volunteers to help look after her. Oren is very appreciative and is also very impressed with her singing talents. He offers to find her a higher paying job, if only she gives him a chance.
Keaton and Douglas are their usual entertaining comedic talents, but they are almost overshadowed by Sterling Jerins, who plays nine year old Sarah. Jerins is definitely a name to watch in the future.
There are also great cameos by director Rob Reiner as Leah’s piano player, and Frankie Valli who owns the club that Leah sings in. Francis Sternhagen is also sharp and witty as Owen’s real estate assistant Claire, who has seen it all so is constantly offering her wisdom.
The settings are gorgeous. Anyone familiar with Connecticut will recognise the distinct, elegant lifestyle. The music is too, thanks to Marc Shaiman who is responsible for the scores in three of Reiner’s other films: When Harry Met Sally (1989), A Few Good Men (1992), and American President (1995).
The script is written by Mark Andrus, who wrote the classic film As Good As It Gets (1997).Even though it is not as funny as that, or Reiner’s masterpiece rom-com When Harry Met Sally, it is still a really entertaining film which I thoroughly enjoyed. Perfect for a day when you need something that is easy to watch, makes you laugh and doesn’t require much brain power or analysis!
Reviewed by KirsteyWhicker
Rating out of 10: 7.5