Basically: It’s like Big or 13 going on 30, but with a millennial wishing to be a senior citizen for some nonsensical reason.
Mack & Rita is kind of weird with its premise. The whole young person dreaming of being older is a pretty standard trope, but I must say this is a stretch. It’s a weird finesse to get Diane Keaton into another romcom-like movie. You know what, though, I wanted to see this because Taylour Paige is in it, and I think she’s a star. I like Diane Keaton but she wasn’t a draw for me, and I don’t know what the point of this movie is. Who is it for? Are there a lot of millennial women who hate the current way things are going, don’t like partying and social media, and just want to live like a 70-year-old woman? I find it hard to believe. It’s one thing being a child and magically becoming a 25–30 year old and how that can seem fun and make for a good setup for comedic events, but this one kind of falls flat most of the time.
The co-stars try to make this more interesting than what it is, especially Loretta Devine who’s excellent in everything she’s in all the time. Paige is great as the best friend who just accepts her friend got old magically, which is harder to believe for a 30-year-old than a 12-year-old believing their friend is 30 all of a sudden. Keaton’s wardrobe is actually another star here. She’s costumed amazingly well. As her character is a writer who makes money as a social media influencer, the younger self is not popping, but the Keaton version does well. The funny thing is, in a way, stuff like this doesn’t help specific platforms (cough, Instagram cough) in not looking out of step and slowly becoming more for old people than for the young. Good job, Mack & Rita! Dustin Milligan plays Jack, the main male romantic interest for Mack/Rita, and has some decent scenes with Keaton. They don’t seem that unbelievable in a romance but they both have enough charm to make it work.
The filmmaking here is just average in terms of shot composition, shot choice, and color. It’s all kind of washed out. This movie doesn’t need to do much or shouldn’t. It’s good that it’s shorter because the length is a stretch anyway. Oh, and I didn’t explain the Mack/Rita thing—see, Mack has to fake like she’s her own aunt named Rita, who swaps apartments with her. Even though they use the same phone and Rita wears all of Mack’s clothing for the most part. As things rush toward the end with a weird yet basic epiphany that anyone would’ve come to at the beginning of an adventure, but hey, at least Diane Keaton got to be in another rom-com in 2022.
In the End: This is a pretty loosely crafted movie that cares more about who’s in it than having a story.