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Begin Again: A Refreshing Blast of Nice

July 15, 2014

Begin Again movie poster


Begin Again will put a smile on your face and keep it there until well after the movie has ended. However, the biggest problem that Begin Again is facing is that it is John Carney’s follow-up to Once. The expectations were so high that Begin Again would inevitably pale in comparison. The similarities are there but the comparisons are unfair because Carney’s latest film is a completely different beast.  Once is one of my favorite films that features Oscar-winning music, unexpected depth and a mature relationship at its core. Begin Again is a breezy experience that puts a smile on your face via likable characters, engaging relationships and nice music.

Begin Again band

Begin Again tells the story of Mark Ruffalo’s shaggy producer meeting a broken-hearted Kiera Knightley. He is incredibly drunk after a terrible day and she is performing her music in front of an indifferent crowd. He sees something the bar patrons do not and he convinces her to record a demo in the streets of NYC. They gather a rag-tag group of musicians and proceed to make wonderful music.

I loved the unabashed musical romanticism and the central relationship between Ruffalo and Knightley. It is a platonic friendship that doesn’t need to be anything else. The two play well off of each other and the improvisational nature of the film created a natural vibe that the two flourish in. Mark Ruffalo has perfected the fast talking huckster who is still talented. His musical wooing of Knightley is a marvel of drunk speak and free beer. Knightley holds her own musically and does a good job improvising and singing alongside the great supporting cast made up of Adam Levine, James Corden, Ceelo Greene, Yasiin Bey (Mos Def), Hailee Steinfeld and Catherine Keener.

Begin Again will put a smile on your face and provide a breezy time in the cinema. I appreciated the mature decisions made by the main characters and John Carney’s ability to avoid the obvious. In a summer of sequels, remakes, prequels and reboots it is nice to have an original film that features original music. Movies are meant to entertain and Begin Again does that perfectly. It doesn’t aim to reinvent the wheel or light the music industry on fire. It simply wants to tell a nice story featuring nice people navigating life.

Enjoy Begin Again. Appreciate the Music. Watch Once. Be happy. Make a playlist. Listen to more music. Watch Once again.




7 Comments leave one →
  1. July 15, 2014 9:01 pm

    Honest question: If these two annoy me with their cliche antics, will I hate this film?

    • July 15, 2014 9:12 pm

      Yep. It will get on your nerves. However, their relationship isn’t totally cliched and the movie simply wants to put a smile on your face. Don’t over analyze. Just roll with it. If you don’t think you can roll with it watch Once. That film is amazing. I love it.


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