In a summer season filled with superhero action flicks and animated sequels, it is refreshing to see a heartfelt film with excellent storytelling and beautiful music. John Carney's latest film, Begin Again, is just that. The movie is an old fashioned romance showcasing some of New York City's most iconic locations with an impeccable soundtrack. You can watch the official trailer above via YouTube.
The film tells the story of Greta, a British singer/songwriter who accompanies her boyfriend to New York City. Her boyfriend is Dave Kohl, a rising star who just signed a record deal with a major recording company. Eventually the fame and success go to Dave's head and he ends the relationship. Confused and heartbroken, Greta decides to return home to England. The night before her flight home, Greta ventures to an open mic night where she meets Dan, a former record executive who has recently lost his job. Greta woos Dan with her soulful, folky music and the two become close friends and begin recording an album together. Begin Again recounts the duo's musical endeavor as they travel to various locations throughout New York City and record each song outdoors.
With a talented cast including Keira Knightley as Greta, Mark Ruffalo as Dan, Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine as Dave, and Cee Lo Green as Dan's comedic friend and rapper, Troublegum . Begin Again is equal parts entertaining and inspiring. John Carney, the director of the Oscar-winning film Once, succeeds once again at telling a romantic story about two people who help each other through music. Begin Again does not have quite as memorable of a soundtrack as Once but the music is still beautiful and fitting for the film.
"Lost Stars" is definitely the theme song of the film. There are three different versions of the tune on the soundtrack, including an acoustic rendition featuring Keira Knightley and two pop variations featuring Adam Levine. There are a series of folky ballads such as "Like A Fool" and "Tell Me You Wanna' Go Home" sung by the film's leading lady that are all charming and enjoyable. Knightley makes her musical debut and has quite a lovely singing voice, which could easily be compared to Birdy or Regina Spektor. While Adam Levine may not be the strongest screen actor, his musical performances, most notably on the song "A Higher Place," certainly make up for his lack of onscreen chemistry.