Mack & Rita: 10 Movies & TV Shows Where You’ve Seen The Cast


After bowing theatrically on August 12, 2022, the consensus about Mack & Rita suggests the film is a fine yet forgettable affair that relies on its excellent cast to wade through the familiar material. The story follows Mack (Elizabeth Lail), a budding writer on vacation in Palm Springs who goes to sleep one day and wakes up 40 years older and attempts to navigate the aging process along with her friend Carla (Taylour Paige).

With an excellent cast of familiar faces, the reverse coming-of-age film also stars Loretta Devine, Simon Rex, Dustin Mulligan, and several other actors who’ve appeared in some of the most popular and recent movies and TV shows.


10/10 Diane Keaton – Something’s Gotta Give (2002)

In Mack & Rita, Diane Keaton plays to her indelibly playful screen persona as Rita, the older and more vivacious version of Mack after undergoing rapid aging overnight. While Diane Keaton began fostering such a vibrant persona since playing the ditzy lounge singer Annie Hall in 1978, for which she won an Oscar, chances are most will recognize her from her Nancy Meyers film collaborations, none more popular than Something’s Gotta Give.

Something’s Gotta Give stars Jack Nicholson as Harry, an elderly lothario who meets and falls with his girlfriend’s mother, Erica (Keaton), a feisty woman who doesn’t tolerate Harry’s actions and challenges him at every turn. In a career built around her ability to stay young at heart with childlike characters who exude a lust for life, the casting of Keaton as Mack/Rita is pitch perfect.

9/10 Elizabeth Lail – You (2018-2019)

As the film’s lead, Elizabeth Lail plays the younger version of Mack who must learn hard lessons about growing up, aging, and the responsibilities therein. Mack is a reclusive introvert who works as an author and reluctant influencer who needs to expand her horizons in order to learn such lessons, putting extra pressure on her newfound transformation.

While some are sure to have seen Lail on Once Upon a Time or Ordinary Joe, her most substantial role to date came as protagonist Guinevere Beck in season 1 of the hit psychological thriller series You. Beck is also a writer in You like Mack is in the movie, and both have kind, intelligent personalities that go a long way in deriving sympathy from viewers. While Beck’s fate is much darker than Mack’s, it’s no wonder why director Katie Aselton cast Lail in the lead as a wicked-smart ingénue who has a way with words.

8/10 Taylour Paige – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

In Mack & Rita, Taylor Paige plays Mack’s best friend and bride-to-be Carla, a kind and caring person who actively pushes Mack to break out of her shell and embrace new experiences ahead of her bachelorette party. Paige delivers a delightful turn, just as she did in the underrated comedy Zola and the Netflix hit Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Ma Rainey chronicles the tumultuous recording session in 1927 Chicago among Ma Rainey (Viola Davis) and her contentious bandmates. Paige stands out as Dussie Mae, a stunning chanteuse who brings the house down when she performs on stage. Unlike Keaton and Lail, Taylor’s roles in Ma Rainey and Mack & Rita couldn’t be more different, proving what a diverse acting range Taylor has in store.

7/10 Loretta Devine – Boston Public (2000-2004)

Loretta Devine plays Carla’s ultra-cool and laid-back mother Sharon in Mack & Rita, a woman who isn’t afraid to make drastic life changes and enjoys spending time with her wine club friends. A consummate film and TV actor with over 170 credits, most will recognize Devine from her role as Marla Hendricks on the David E. Kelley TV show Boston Public.

Boston Public takes a hard look at the machinations of Winslow High, a public school in Boston, where the students have just as difficult a time as the staff. Devine played Social Studies teacher Marla Hendricks for 81 episodes, a commendable figure who, very much like Sharon, imparts valuable life lessons to the children under her supervision.

6/10 Dustin Milligan – Schitt’s Creek (2015-2020)

Dusting Milligan stars as Jack in Mack & Rita, the former’s love interest who walks dogs for a living. While Milligan has been kicking around since 2004, almost everyone will remember his role as the adorably awkward veterinarian Ted Mullens on the hit sitcom Schitt’s Creek.

The riches-to-rags story follows the Rose family’s fall from grace as they try to pick up the pieces by purchasing a rundown motel in the middle of nowhere. Milligan lent delightful charms to the show as Ted, Alexis’ on-off boyfriend with a heart of gold. In Mack & Rita, Jack is much more confident, rakish and desirable than Ted was on Schitt’s Creek, giving Milligan a chance to flex his inherent charisma.

5/10 Simon Rex – Scary Movie 3 (2003)

Simon Rex plays Luka in Mack & Rita, a hippy inventor who is responsible for the former’s rapid aging process. While people should recognize Rex from his award-worthy turn in the recent Red Rocket, most will recall his broad comedic role as George in Scary Movie 3.

Scary Movie 3 continues the parodic exploits of Cindy (Anna Faris), a slasher movie victim who cannot get out of harm’s way. George lampoons B-Rabbit from 8 Mile (Eminem), a wannabe rapper who becomes Cindy’s love interest. It’s great to see how far Rex has evolved as an actor, giving a much more subtle and nuanced comedic turn in Mack & Katie than the sophomoric turn he gives in the Scary Movie franchise.

4/10 Nicole Byer – Nailed It! (2018)

In Mack & Rita, Nicole Byer stands out as Urth, one of the girls’ hilarious friends that entertains during Carla’s bachelorette party. In another brilliant bit of casting, anyone who has seen Byer host the Netflix baking competition show Nailed It! knows exactly what brand of humor to expect in the movie.

The beloved Netflix cooking show pits three amateur chefs against each other with the challenge of recreating an elaborate pastry dish. As people fail gloriously, Nicole gives them a hard time with good-natured humor and sarcastic sass. Although she’s been acting for over a decade, it’s great to see Byer channel her trademark humor as a TV host in fictional narrative roles.

3/10 Catherine Carlen – Doom Patrol (2020-2021)

Catherine Carlen plays Grammie Martin in the movie, Mack’s guardian who raised the girl in her parents’ absence. Acting as her friend, confidant, and fashion advisor to boot, Grammie Martin is everything one could ask for in a grandparent. The role is starkly opposed to Carlen’s most substantial role to date; Doctor Harrison on Doom Patrol, one of Kay’s many manipulative alters.

Doom Patrol follows the eponymous group of shunned superheroes who band together and prove their collective worth by fighting criminals in the Multiverse. In Mack & Rita, Grammie Martin is jovial, pleasant, and loving. In Doom Patrol, Harrison is a wicked meta-human adept at mind control, proving the tremendous acting range Carlen has in wildly different movies and TV shows.

2/10 Patti Harrison – Together Together (2021)

Patti Harrison portrays Stephanie in Mack & Rita, Mack’s cutthroat business agent who serves as the closest thing to a villain in the story. She’s vicious, bossy, and has nothing but success on her mind. The role differs quite a bit from Harrison’s role in the acclaimed rom-com Together Together, her first starring movie role to date.

Together Together follows the unlikely bond between app creator Matt (Ed Helms), and his potential surrogate, Anna (Harrison), a modest barista who has more parental insight than he could have ever imagined. In Mack & Rita, Stephanie is a bitter pill to swallow. In Together Together, Anna is kind, strong-willed, and independent, making Harrison’s casting in the movie quite inspired for going against the grain.

1/10 Aimee Carrero – Blindspot (2015-2020)

Aimee Carrero plays Sunita in the film, one of Carla’s bridesmaids and supportive friends that attends a Bad Bunny concert with her. Positive and uplifting, Sunita couldn’t be more different from Ana Montes, the role Carrero played in the crime drama Blindspot.

Blindspot concerns Jane Doe, a woman who wakes up covered in tattoos with no memory of her past. As Ana, Carrero credibly portrayed a computer hacker who helps Jane solve Bethany’s murder. A far cry from a bubbly bridesmaid, Ana is a tech-savvy mastermind that proves Carrero can handle comedy and drama alike.

Related: The 10 Best New Movies To Watch On Netflix This Month


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