Complete A-Z list

Ruth & Alex


Stars: Morgan Freeman, Diane Keaton, Cynthia Nixon, Claire van der Boom, Korey Jackson, Carrie Preston

Director: Richard Loncraine

A rather gentle, very New York, sub-Neil Simon sort of romcom, ravishingly photographed in the city by Jonathan Freedman.

Ruth and Alex (Keaton, Freeman) have lived in their fifth floor Brooklyn apartment for more than 40 years. Any stigma attached to their mixed marriage has long since disappeared and they have become a living part of their neighbourhood.

Alex is an artist, Ruth a retired teacher. They are, of course, devoted to each other, as well as to their elderly dog, their flat and its roof garden. But the stairs are getting no easier (the building has no lift), and the dog struggles to mount five flights as much as Alex.

Toying with the idea of moving, they put the place on the market at a million dollars and, with the help of a hyper, non-stop agent (the always excellent Cynthia Nixon) - 'You snooze, you lose!' she shrieks as they dither - pay host to a stream of increasingly odd would-be buyers, none of whom really take their fancy as much as the apartment they find at a similar price in nearby Manhattan.

All this is fairly insubstantial, and you can guess the ending from reel one, but the pleasure, of course, lies in the playing, and in the chemistry between the leads, whose relaxed performances quite convince you that they're a real couple.

Keaton and Freeman make it look easy, but then of course they've been doing just that for years.

David Quinlan

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Signature. Colour (unspecified).
92 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 18 Jul 2015