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The Hollywood Insider Mack & Rita Review

Photo: ‘Mack & Rita’ 

Actress-turned-director Katie Aselton’s new film ‘Mack and Rita.’ The movie is written by Madeline Walter and Paul Welsh, both alumni writers of the hit comedy show ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine,’ stars Elizabeth Lail as Mack Martin, living her life as a successful 30-year-old writer. She is different from most females her age. After the success of her first book, she feels compelled to keep the momentum going by writing her second one.  She was raised by her grandmother, which is also another huge explanation to Mack’s mindset of a person who refuses to stay up late and party with her friends. Her friends do not give her the support of her aspiring dream as a writer since they push her to go to a bachelorette party in Palm Springs. At one point, Mack goes into a tanning bed at a tent operated by a huckster (played by Simon Rex), and magically turns into a 70-year-old woman (played by Diane Keaton). This causes Mack to invent a new identity as “Rita,” her non-existent aunt.

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The movie does a good job of establishing Mack/Rita’s wants and needs. Mack just wants to be accepted despite the fact that she considers herself as an old soul. She needed to transform as an older woman to give her opportunities that she never took, even as a 30-year-old woman.  There is a fair amount of female empowerment shown in this movie. There is a scene involving a 70-year-old woman attempting to do pilates in front of a young crowd. There was another scene that featured Rita joining a wine club without feeling held back by her young friends. She even obtains support from her friend Carla (played by Taylour Paige) who accepts her as her new alter-ego. Eventually, Rita finds social media acceptance and popularity. During her quest of self-acceptance, she finds delightful encounters with Mack’s neighbor Jack (played by Dustin Milligan of ‘Schitt’s Creek’). 

The movie might be predictable to most people even if one looks at the trailer. However, I find the chick flick to be entertaining since it shows the positive scenario of an older person attempting to do things that even a woman in her thirties would enjoy doing. Social media has not only influenced the young, even older women utilize it to show the world what they are doing. Seeing Diane Keaton playing a character that uses Instagram to show the fun side of getting older, therefore eliminating the stigmas or stereotypes of female seniors. All women of all ages will agree that there are perks to being young and old. As people get older, they tend to see younger people and remind themselves of how wild and adventurous they once were. Younger individuals look up to their elders and tell themselves that living at age 7o or older is the reward of living carefully. The comedy finds a middle ground of appreciating both crowds. 

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‘Mack & Rita’ – Other Comedies that are Similar to the Film 

A lot of people would consider Mack & Rita a coming-of-age story. Though, one can say it is also an age-swap film. For example, those who are interested in seeing Mack & Rita might be fans of ‘Freaky Friday,’ which stars Jaime Lee Curtis as the controlling mother and Lindsay Lohan as the rebellious daughter. Both of them have their bodies switched by a fortune cookie. The mother has the second chance of being a young woman again. However, she experiences the hardships of obtaining friendships, being in a rock band, and attempting to be a good student. The daughter realizes that being a mother, a therapist, and a fiancee is not so manageable either. Both of them eventually agree each of their lives is not so easy to handle. 

13th Going On 30 will also appeal to the audience who’s interested in seeing ‘Mack & Rita’. Jennifer Garner plays as  Jenna Rink, who magically turned 30 years old after having a dreadful experience in her own 13th birthday party.  As she experiences her new adventures in the big city life, she encounters the pros of being an Adult by having her dream job as an editor of her favorite magazine. In addition, she reunites with her old friend Matt (played by Mark Ruffalo).  However, she sees the biggest con in her adult life by realizing that she is not only in love with him, he is already spoken for. She also learns that her adult version of herself had lived a bad life by not being in touch with her parents and having an affair with a coworker’s husband. 

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 Diane Keaton’s Past Comedic Roles

Before Mack & Rita, Diane Keaton appeared in her famous Award Winning role as the title character in ‘Annie Hall,’ directed, written, and starring Woody Allen. Woody Allen stars as Alvy Singer, a comedian who tries to figure out why his relationship with Annie went wrong. The film did a good job of portraying love in the most honest and naturalistic way possible. Both characters are lovable, especially Annie since she is free-spirited and complex. It’s a movie that has been revisited for many years due to the extensive dialogue and how perspective it is on how relationships work and why they fade away. Regardless of the story’s serious take on love, it is done very humorously.

‘Annie Hall’ won four Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Actress. The movie beat the first ‘Star Wars’ film for Best Picture. 

 In 2003, Diane Keaton starred as Erica Barry, a 56-year-old divorce and successful playwright in the  film, ‘Something’s Gotta Give.’ Jack Nicholson plays a 63-year-old rich womanizer who only dates women under 30. As they both encounter each other, they tend to go through some strife with their friendship due to personality differences. Eventually, they both fall in love with each other. The film is very touching and funny. Diane Keaton’s character might have experienced some intense heartbreaking sobs, but it is done in a comedic fashion, which makes her character lovable.

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In Conclusion

Diane Keaton will be loveable to all audiences – young and old generations. ‘Mack & Rita’ will be a favorite for not only her fans, but also the fans of the ‘coming-of ‘old’ age’ genre. People will love the message of self-acceptance since it is universally loved. 

By Marco Castaneda

Click here to read The Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Cinema, TV and Media. An excerpt from the love letter: The Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, We have the space and time for all your stories, no matter who/what/where you are. Media/Cinema/TV have a responsibility to better the world and The Hollywood Insider will continue to do so. Talent, diversity and authenticity matter in Cinema/TV, media and storytelling. In fact, I reckon that we should announce “talent-diversity-authenticity-storytelling-Cinema-Oscars-Academy-Awards” as synonyms of each other. We show respect to talent and stories regardless of their skin color, race, gender, sexuality, religion, nationality, etc., thus allowing authenticity into this system just by something as simple as accepting and showing respect to the human species’ factual diversity. We become greater just by respecting and appreciating talent in all its shapes, sizes, and forms. Award winners, which includes nominees, must be chosen on the greatness of their talent ALONE.

I am sure I am speaking for a multitude of Cinema lovers all over the world when I speak of the following sentiments that this medium of art has blessed me with. Cinema taught me about our world, at times in English and at times through the beautiful one-inch bar of subtitles. I learned from the stories in the global movies that we are all alike across all borders. Remember that one of the best symbols of many great civilizations and their prosperity has been the art they have left behind. This art can be in the form of paintings, sculptures, architecture, writings, inventions, etc. For our modern society, Cinema happens to be one of them. Cinema is more than just a form of entertainment, it is an integral part of society. I love the world uniting, be it for Cinema, TV, media, art, fashion, sport, etc. Please keep this going full speed.”

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