I love Mark Ruffalo. No, I adore him. And I’ll literally watch him in anything – even In the Cut! So when I heard that he was doing a film with the writer/director of Once, my heart practically leapt! Then I saw the trailer and was bitterly disappointed.
Strike one: Cliched and formulaic, Begin Again (formerly known as Can A Song Change Your Life?) looks to me like another film where an older man falls for a young Manic Pixie Dream Girl, looking for her to complete him and solve all of life’s problems.
Strike two: It stars Keira Knightley. Back in her Bend it Like Beckham days, I actually really liked her, but now I like her films in spite of her appearing in them – Atonement, Never Let Me Go, Seeking A Friend for the End of the World. Rumour has it Scarlett Johansson was originally cast in the leading role. Now that I could have handled, despite the still 10+ years age gap.
Strike three: Music and musicians feature strongly but Keira doesn’t sing (I’m guessing from the trailer. IMDB wasn’t very helpful at confirming or denying this). Why not cast a talented actress who can actually sing?!
I loved Once. It is one of my favourite films and it warms my cockles every time I see it. I’ll likely give this a go because of The Ruff (you call him that too, right?) but I’m not going to get my hopes up. Who knows, I might be pleasantly surprised.
I am, however, looking forward to Wish I was Here, Zach Braff’s second directorial effort and the fruits of his Kickstarter triumph. If you liked Garden State, chances are you’ll love this. Check out the soundtrack for a start!
I’m also pretty chuffed with the cast – J.D, and Turk together again, the hugely under-rated Kate Hudson in a non-rom-com leading role (although I doubt she’ll ever better her Almost Famous debut), Jim Parsons and the late James Avery (aka Uncle Phil). Sounds like a winner to me! Which is odd considering it’s basically about a guy who homeschools his kids. I’m in though. And, of course, it has a cool poster! Damn this indie king! He’s so cool it hurts!
How about you? Excited to see either of these films? Begin Again will be released in the UK on 11 July and Wish I Was Here on 19 September. I reckon it’ll be worth the wait.