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Begin Again

zThe new movie by the director of Once. Dan (Mark Ruffalo) is a down-and-out producer who gets canned by the partner with whom he originally built the company; Gretta (Kiera Knightly) has just been dumped by her boyfriend Dave (Adam Levine) and is reluctantly singing in a bar when Dan hears her. The movie is the story of Dan and Gretta creating the demo tracks that will give her the break she needs into the music business. The movie was a mixed bag for me. The aspects that worked for me were (a) it was an interesting commentary on the music industry and how impact the industry has on relationships and (b) the scenes where they were actually making music were pretty interesting (the idea for the album was rather clever and fun). On the down side, I found most of the movie stereotypical and predictable; the stories felt contrived to me. Mark Ruffalo is cast in a very typical role for him (drinking, irresponsible father/uncle/dad), and Kiera Knightly didn’t feel completely right to me for the role; I didn’t really feel any of the actors worked seamlessly together (although the recording scenes for me were the highlights of the movie). Very weak thumbs up for a movie that does not have any of the magic that Once does but is still, in the end, a nice story.(2014; 2.5 Stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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