Movies: Begin Again

It's really difficult to successfully construct a film around music, a soundtrack. But Begin Again does it. Not just well but in stellar fashion.

The film itself is cute. The acting manages to elevate the story line so that the movie is thoroughly enjoyable despite it being firmly predictable.

What's it about? Mark Ruffalo (and I'll admit that I'd watch him in just about anything) plays Dan Mulligan, a down-and-out indie record label exec who discovers Gretta (Keira Knightly) and helps her record an album. Pretty basic. Oh, there are other threads: Gretta's disintegrated relationship with rising star Dave Kohl (Adam Levine), Dan's struggle to stay relevant to his teenage daughter and estranged wife. But this is mostly about the music.

I don't often miss being on set, but films like this sometimes make me wish I could have been there. It's the kind of movie where it looks like they're having a good time as they go along.

In short, I was pleasantly surprised, not so much by the movie but by how much I enjoyed it. And yes, the soundtrack is really good too.

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