Oren Little (Michael Douglas) is an old bitter man that has lost his wife to cancer, owns an apartment building named Little Shangri – La where he lives next to Leah (Diane Keaton) along with some other tenants that do not like him much, is trying to sell his family home for 8.6 million dollars and drives a Mercedes. Leah sings at a local establishment named The Oaks Bistro, she cries at least once during every set mainly because she lost her husband to an aneurism, she’s a good cook with a fashion sense a bit on the old side.
Oren finds out that his only son is heading to prison for several months and that more important he never knew he was a grandfather. While Luke (Scott Shepherd) heads to serve his time he drops off Sarah (Sterling Jerins) his daughter at Oren’s home so he can take care of her. One issue Oren did not know about his grandchild nor does he want to take care of her. Thanks to the influence of Leah, Sarah is welcomed with open arms and in time Oren finds a place in his heart not only for Sarah but also his son Luke and ultimately Leah.
Oren is a bit rusty with his moves but once he finds his way Leah also finds hers and what once was a far thought of having a family now has become a reality thanks to the power of a “do over”. Times change, things happen, people move on but for Oren change is good since thankfully he met Leah which made a huge adjustment in his life allowing him to welcome in a new loving way of looking at life for the future.
I enjoyed the direction from Reiner as usual. There are no bells and whistles here but overall a nicely played out romantic drama with a bit of comedy laced in to keep the audience tuned in. Even though I found the writing and overall plot of the story to be a little weak I still enjoyed this laid back story that will appeal to a middle to older aged group of movie goers. The story definitely has its moments of laughter and tears but tends to lose its way a few times.
Douglas and Keaton are phenomenal together as their chemistry is spot on perfect. Jerins was a treat especially in the scene when she cries since it really opened up her moment as a young actress. I thought Shepherd was a strange casting but even though his arrangement seemed a bit off key in regards to Douglas he still ended up doing a fine job. Yet in the end Reiner uses an array of supporting characters that all fit in perfect to their very sweet and wholesome story. Overall I enjoyed this film for a change from all the summer blockbuster action films out in the markets now. With 2 paws out of 4, I’m Jon Patch