Ruth & Alex | Film review - Diane Keaton & Morgan Freeman’s sturdy charisma props up flimsy comedy

Ruth and Alex Diane Keaton Morgan Freeman.jpg

Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman’s sturdy screen charisma props up Ruth & Alex, a flimsy comedy-drama about a long-married couple sent into a flap by the prospect of moving out of the fifth-floor Brooklyn apartment that has been their home for the past 40 years. Not a great deal happens in the course of the movie, which takes place over the course of a weekend. Ruth’s pushy real-estate agent niece (Cynthia Nixon) goes into hyperventilating efforts to sell the flat; a stream of gawping visitors pass in and out; and the couple’s ageing dog goes into hospital; while in the background, overhyped media reports of a possible terrorist on the loose threaten to depress neighbourhood property values. It’s all very cosy and undemanding, but Keaton and Freeman are such amiably engaging screen presences you will probably enjoy spending the time in their company.

Certificate 12. Runtime 88 mins. Director Richard Loncraine.

Ruth & Alex is released on DVD by Signature Entertainment.

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.