Monday 19 January 2015

Review: Begin Again (2013)

Another long haul flight, another list as long as my arm of films to review.  I wanted to do this one first because it was the one that I enjoyed the most.  I honestly didn't know what to expect, I didn't know much about the storyline which probably helped as I had no expectations.

I do remember hearing about Begin Again, but I don't remember it ever actually coming out in the cinema! I must have missed it, but no matter, because Jenna very kindly gave it to me on DVD last month. After promising I would watch it the very next day when I got home, I of course lost track and only watched it the other day!

Begin Again starts with two timelines of Dan (Mark Ruffalo) and Gretta (Keira Knightley) and how they both ended up in the same bar on the same night.  Dan, a down and out drunk who is slowly losing his business and Gretta a heartbroken musician ready to leave New York for good.  They come together on a new music project that might just change their lives.

I loved this, it didn't have a huge storyline or crazy twists but I was engrossed throughout, I found myself smiling through the whole film.  For me, this is one of those films that I will buy on DVD and whenever I feel a bit down I'll put it on and I'll smile.  I was thrilled when SPOILER ALERT at the end they didn't bring the relationship between Dan and Gretta to a romantic level, they kept them as friends which is rarely seen but fits perfectly with this film.  Its not a love story, its not a drama it's something all it's own.

I'm not a huge music junkie, but there are some films that I have loved for their soundtrack alone, and Begin Again is one of them. Seriously, as soon as I can get my hands on this one it will be blasted out of my car's speakers on my way to and from work every day. I was tapping my foot throughout every song and just couldn't stop smiling.

Knightley's pouting bothered me, but it always will, in any film, I just have to look past it. Aw, I know she winds a lot of people up but I love her! You really should dislike Dan but the more you get to know of him, the more you want him to succeed and be ok.  The movie has a real charm and humour that pulled me in and kept me there until it was over, at which point I didn't want it to be over. 

I felt a bit 'meh' about Mark Ruffalo before, but he absolutely won me over in this. He starts out as a complete loser and a bit of an ass, but his character really develops as the story goes on and I was so happy with his outcome.

Surprisingly, the biggest downfall for me was James Corden, now I am a HUGE James Corden fan so for me to admit this is a big deal!!  I just felt like his character, Steve, a school friend of Gretta and her ex Dave, was only there to provide narrative on Gretta and Dave's failed relationship, instead of showing them in maybe flashbacks they use his stories to explain things.  It's just didn't feel like he brought any other benefits to the game.

Yeah, I don't even think is was anything to do with James Corden himself, but his character's apartment had more use than his character itself I thought, and then he just sorta disappeared all together!

Overall, I really loved this (if you couldn't already tell) the music is great and the story is just so lovely that you can't help but smile.  I dare you not to love this!

I'm a sucker for romcoms as a guilty pleasure more than anything, but Begin Again was a truly great film, and even my fiance tore himself away from his gaming to sit with me and watch it!

Oh, how have I not mentioned Adam Levine yet? How did I not know he was even in this film before his beautiful face blessed my screen? He may have been a naughty boy, but I'll let him off.


  1. First...y'all fly a lot.

    Second, YAY for loving this movie.

    Third, BOO on the Cordon comments. Like, he was my favorite part of this movie. Sure, his character had no arc, but that wasn't the point. He was the friend, only there to serve as a prop or point of reference to advance the rest of the plot (like, providing a place for Gretta to stay), but he made so much of that. He was hilarious, charming, caring and just the perfect supporting role. LOVED HIM!

  2. Ha! Yes I do, I travel for work most of the time so that gives me lots of movie watching time!

    I just couldn't warm to him and I usually LOVE him in pretty much everything (with the exception of Lesbian Vampire Killers!) - he just felt too wasted, he could have been utilised so much more.

    - Jenna

  3. Glad you liked this one! I wasn't even sure what this was about when I first saw a poster for it, but I'm a fan of Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo so into the theater I go! The soundtrack was amazing (and loved their Oscar nom) and Keira and Mark were amazing, They had great chemistry and had plenty of scenes to prove that. Great review!

  4. Damn, you two fly a lot. lol Excellent review, I loved this film as well. I'm glad Lost Stars is Oscar nominated.

  5. So pleased you both loved this film as much as I did :-)