MTV Review: Begin Again
UK Release Date: July 11
Running Time: 104 minutes
Cast: Mark Ruffalo, Keira Knightley, Adam Levine, James Cordon, Mos Def
Director: John Carney
Plot: Elegantly wasted, Dan (Mark Ruffalo) gets the boot from the record company he set up. Greta (Keira Knightley) gets dumped by her rock star boyfriend. But this being America they both seek sanctuary in a bar. Through his drunken fog, Ruffalo has a moment of musical clarity and sees Knightley’s pop star potential. He proposes that they produce an album of her songs recorded in random locations around New York City.
Best Scene: On the roof of a tenement building, Greta and her merry band perform a rousing rendition of one of her songs. Dan’s persuaded to lay down some bass lines and even his daughter lends some axe-skills. It’s a big feel good jam; like strawberry jam - on a warm English muffin.
Best One Liner: Business partner, Saul (Mos Def) coldly informing Ruffalo that “This isn’t Jerry Maguire” when he tires taking all of his contacts with him after he’s unceremoniously kicked out of his own record company.
Date Movie or Mate Movie? Some scenes in this movie – Dan and Greta waltzing through New York City whilst both listening to her iPod, for instance – could be a scene from a match.com advert. Therefore: DATE!
Scene Stealer: CeeLo Green makes a comedy cameo. Dan and Greta are invited inside his mad crib to chill.
WTF Moment: Instruments start playing on their own behind Greta as she performs a pretty average acoustic number. Stood in the crowd Dan can hear, with his eyes, the musical arrangement to turn his song into a bonafide banger, kind of. It’s a scene of triumphant whimsy.
Summary: Imagine if this movie was a bag of Revels and that Revels had released a new flavour: cheese ball. You’re munching your way through the bag happily. Some you love (Malteser) and some less so (orange) but then all of sudden – munch - and CHEESE! That’s this movie. On the whole it’s very enjoyable, has a big heart and soul and, like a basket of baby otters it will make you smile from temple to temple. It’s not unchartered ground for director John Carney whose previous movie, Once was also an romantic romp with an acoustic guitar. Cordon puts in a funny performance. Ruffalo plays world-weary and tired Dan with conviction and Knightley strikes the right chords between heartbreak and twee posh girl “finding herself” in a big strange City. But every so often – munch – CHEESE! By Michael Currell @MTVUK