“Mack and Rita” is a really bad movie. It’s so horrible that I cannot think of one positive thing to say about it. The film features uninteresting characters, actors who give a bare minimum effort, pointless dialogue, and a stale body switching premise. There is no reason to subject yourself to this pathetic excuse for a comedy. None.
Successful 30-year-old author and social media influencer Mack (Elizabeth Lail) is a homebody. Her group of gal pals are the partying type, but she’d rather just stay inside her apartment. When her best friend Carla (Taylour Paige) plans a bachelorette trip to Palm Springs, Mack feels obligated to tag along. When the ladies go out in search of a wild night, Mack wanders into a strange tent and meets a guru who promises to help her reveal her true self. When she emerges, Mack find that she has been transported into the body of a 70-year-old (Diane Keaton).
It’s an absolutely ridiculous premise for a movie, and it’s poorly executed. The script (written by Madeline Walter and Paul Welsh) is particularly awful, with unfunny one-liners and clunky dialogue that sounds like it was penned by a fourth grader. There’s no explanation of how Mack switches bodies, and she eventually changes back just…you know, because. The writing is embarrassing.
Clichéd stereotypes are trotted out as if director Katie Aselton thinks her audience is so uneducated that they’d find a graceless encounter with a pilates machine to be uproarious and worthy of a lengthy montage (it’s not), or that viewers would think it’s hilarious to watch senior citizens proclaim their ignorance about technology and these newfangled iPhone contraptions (yawn). Oh, and most young people are not in a hurry to reach retirement age, either, no matter what this movie may tell you. And let’s not forget the lazy messaging about the joys of just being yourself.
At some point, I figured out why this train wreck was made: to showcase Keaton’s style by letting her play dress-up in a fashionable wardrobe. Her costumes are somehow more charming than she is, because this role sucked every last ounce of charisma right out of her. I am surprised that the clothing labels weren’t prominently plastered because the rest of the film is peppered with bizarre, overt product placements. Nothing about this movie would make me want to rush out and buy Duckhorn wine, Voodoo Ranger beer, Utz cheese balls, or dine at CPK, yet these brands were so heavily featured that it felt like one big commercial.
“Mack and Rita” is the worst film I’ve seen this year. You may be thinking, “it can’t be that awful.” Yes. Yes it can, and yes it is. There is no way everyone involved in this project didn’t know they had a certified turd on their hands.
By: Louisa Moore