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‘Mack & Rita’ review: Diane Keaton highlights body swap comedy

Content is king for all ages.

Mack & Rita uses a magical premise to tackle the generation gap. Mack (Elizabeth Lali, You) is a 30-year-old with an old soul who attends a bachelorette party. While there, she is transformed into the elderly Aunt Rita (Dianne Keaton). The awkward former millennial is soon a popular “glamma” on Instagram. 

It is no surprise that Keaton does well in the role. She brings energy to a ho-hum script that includes jokes that run for too long and basic pot shots about brunch and what people wear. The rest of the cast do the best they can, but the characters seem to be there just to be punchlines. It is as if Mack & Rita wants them to be shallow because millennials, amirite? 

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Still, the film does manage to capture the heart of the story it is trying to tell. While the “not like other girls” trope can get a little annoying, Mack & Rita nails the pressure of living up to the expectations of your peers. It makes sense that Rita can come out of her shell only when she is not herself. 

Of course, that is where the joke is. Mack is being herself, but it took a literal body swap for anyone to realize how cool she really is. The film’s take on ageism is a mixed bag, as the overall positive message sometimes gets lost in wayward scripting. The movie’s main theme is the uneasiness people have with getting older. This is a genuine fear many people have and one which audiences will understand. 

'Mack & Rita' review: Diane Keaton highlights body swap comedy

The way Mack & Rita makes its point is where things go off kilter. While there are some humorous moments, most of the jokes seem like more of a critique of those under the age of 35. For example, it is agreed by everyone – including Rita – that still skateboarding is not a hobby for someone in their early 30s, even though said person is Rita’s romantic interest. Despite, these missteps, the film is innocent fun.

Mack & Rita comes to theaters August 12

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