There are two side stories - one about a terrorist attempting to blow up a bridge, and one about their dog, Dorothy, who has an expensive surgery. Along the way, they meet a young girl whose mother is in the market for an apartment, two "dog ladies" that are adopting a baby, a psychiatrist who wonders if she can get patients from the rest of the building's tenants, and a rude couple who appeared to not want to sell to a mixed-race couple.
We have lots and lots of flashbacks - how Alex and Ruth meet-cute, why they have no children, how they acquired their little dog, and Alex's art career. Nothing new to see here, in fact, nothing much new in the entire movie. Keaton is her usual neurotic self, while Freeman is the calming force (and voice!). The most interesting scene is when Ruth (as a young woman) talks to her family about her impending marriage to Alex, and her mother tries to be supportive without wanting to. Ruth doesn't use this time to teach, to help her mother bod with Alex, or to enlist her sister's help - she just rants and raves.
It was a pleasant Saturday afternoon movie - no violence, no conflict, not really any tough decisions despite Nixon's insistence that everything be decided immediately, while swinging her phone and designer handbag around wildly. I guess that it's a bit more interesting for people who live or have lived in New York City. Those outside don't really care about the NYC real estate market, or how cutthroat it is. The screenplay is written by Charlie Peters, the writer of "Krippendorf's Tribe," which is a horrendous movie, so the bar there was pretty low. All we came to see was Keaton and Freeman, though, and that was a very satisfying mission accomplished.
"5 Flights Up" was a flash in the theaters, but you can catch it on Netflix DVD.
They have no family in town, and no jobs, and Alex is constantly saying he loves a great view...why wouldn't they just move to Connecticut?