Rated: PG-13
Release Date: 08/12/2022
Production Company: Gravitas Premiere

Elizabeth Lail, Loretta Devine, Diane Keaton, Amy Hill, Lois Smith, Wendie Malick, Simon Rex, Martin Short and
Dustin Milligan.

Director: Katie Aselton. Producers: Diane Keaton, Stephanie Heaton, Jina Panabianco, Dori A. Rath, Alex Saks. Executive Producers: Lori Abrams, Brett Beveridge, Lauren Beveridge, Jean-Luc-De-Fanti, Steve Demmler, Terry Dougas, Paris Kassidokostas-Latsis, Dominic Medina, Joseph Panebianco, Joseph Panebianco, JoJo Ryder, Jackie Shenoo, R. Wesley Sierk and John Straley. Screenwriters: Madeline Walter and Paul Welsch. Cinematographer: Sean McElwee.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

It seems as if Hollywood can't get enough of body swap comedies. The latest one to hit the big screen is "Mack & Rita" from director/actress Katie Aselton (“Black Rock") and screenwriters/actors Madeline Walter (TV's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine") and Paul Welsh (TV's "Killing It").

"Mack and Rita" is similar to "13 Going on 30." Although it doesn't reinvent the body swap, rom-com, genre, it does bring some fun twists to it.

Elizabeth Lail (TV's "Ordinary Joe" and "Gossip Girl") plays an attractive 30-year-old writer named Mack Martin who is outgoing when she wants to be, but isn't always up to partying with her friends, especially her vivacious bestie, Carla (a funny Taylour Paige, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom").

Mack would rather stay home or hang out with her stylish grandmother and her wine drinking friends which include Loretta DeVine, (TV's "P-Valley") and Lois Smith ("Uncle Frank"). She's just an old soul at heart. Much to the dismay of Mack's persnickety agent, Stephanie (Patti Harrison, "The Lost City"), Mack isn't thrilled about writing her next novel.

After being chided by Carla and her friends, Mack reluctantly agrees to go to Carla's bachelorette party in Palm Springs. While in town, Mack meets some shyster named Luka (Simon Rex, "Red Rocket") and she wanders into his regression pod/tanning tank and suddenly has an out of body experience.
She wakes up and surprisingly has turned into a 70-year-old version of herself, Aunt Rita (played delightfully by Diane Keaton, "Book Club 2: The Next Chapter").

Now, Rita/Mack is finally free to do what she wants without any judgements, and she loves it. She's so utterly likeable and spirited that even Mack's dog-sitter Jack (Dustin Milligan, TV's "Rutherford Falls") can't resist her charms.

Rita is truly living her best life. So much so, that she becomes a social media/Instagram sensation known by her legion of followers as Glammy Grammy.

Much of the fun in “Mack & Rita” comes from watching Keaton navigate through so many crazy situations. Yes, it's pure silliness, but Keaton sells it wholeheartedly. She also served as co-producer of the movie. Without her star presence, "Mack & Rita" likely wouldn't have even been made, but Keaton elevates everything she's in and makes it worthwhile. This quirky, funny comedy about being true to yourself regardless of age, is no exception.

Editor's Note: Be sure to catch my movie talk segment on the Kitty O'Neal Show Fridays at 6:20 p.m. on radio station KFBK 93.1 FM and 1530 AM.

Watch This Trailer For "MACK & RITA"

Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), The American Film Institute (AFI), and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.


Year Released: 1971
Running Time: 73
Production Company: Screen Gems/Sony
Director: Buzz Kulik
Director of Photography: Joseph F. Biroc
Screenwriter: William Blinn
Author: Lana K. Wilson-Combs

REVIEW: In honor of legendary actor James Caan who died July 6 at age 82, is re-running part of its Old School Video Pick review of "Brian's Song" which Caan starred in as Chicago Bears football great Brian Piccolo.

By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs, Editor-In-Chief

"Brian's Song" tells the remarkable story of the friendship between Piccolo and Gayle...
Prior to his movie and television career, James Caan made his Broadway debut alongside Peter Fonda and Darren McGavin in which 1961 Broadway play?
Blood, Sweat and Stanley"
“The Best Man"