Will start off by saying that Diane Keaton is a delight. I mean on screen and off. She is that rare Hollywood actor/actress who is just completely themselves. Always genuine. An actress, that despite her seven (!) decades in the crazy celebrity/acting world, has never allowed that artificial and often toxic environment to dull her joie de vivre. You just root for her. Still working at a steady clip despite being 76 years old. A film like this with an equal mix of quirky humour and drama is tailormade for Keaton. Despite the flaws in the film, she is a joy to watch up on the screen.
This is a storyline type that has been used time and time again by filmmakers. It is beginning to feel a little like this particular orange has pretty much been squeezed dry. Mack & Rita, directed by Katie Aselton (Black Rock, the Freebie), features a swapping bodies story. Mack (Elizabeth Lail – from television’s You) is a 30-year-old struggling writer who has had to resort to making income as an influencer. Her life is not going as she had hoped. She is single and not settled in her career. But mostly, she just doesn’t feel like she fits in with others her age. Always has felt like an old soul.
While on a weekend bachelorette trip to Palm Springs for the upcoming nuptials of her best friend, Carla (Taylour Paige – White Boy Rick, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), Mack dips out on a secret Bad Bunny concert everyone else is going to and stumbles upon a guy (Simon Rex – Red Rocket, Scary Movie 3) operating out of a pop up tent who claims he can regress you to a past life. Obviously a shyster, but Mack just wants a change so lies down in what is obviously a tanning bed while he says some nonsense.
When she wakes up Mack is surprised to find out she is now in the body of a 70-year-old. Pretending to be Mack’s aunt Rita (Diane Keaton – Something’s Gotta Give, Annie Hall) from Scottsdale, Arizona, who is living at Mack’s while she is in Arizona writing, Mack/Rita begins living the life she has always dreamed of. Joining Carla’s mom’s (Loretta Devine – Crash, Jumping the Broom) social circle and loving it, as well she is getting close to Mack’s dog walker, Jack (Dustin Milligan – from television’s Schitt’s Creek). Also, her influencer job is skyrocketing as Rita. Rita is someone everyone wants to be around, so it makes Mack think she might not want to change back.
Diane Keaton is by far the best thing about this film. She is just so adorable! the scenes she is in are charming while the others leave a little to be desired. Is it just the magic of Keaton or something else, but Lail as Mack is really flat. You just want more of Diane/Rita and that does not help out the predictable route the film is travelling on.
What I took out of the film is that why wouldn’t anyone of any age want to jump to being Diane Keaton? at least for a short period of time.