A few days ago, I very pompously and somewhat drunkenly declared that the romantic comedy was dead. Deader than Bruno Kirby (who appeared in what is the single greatest rom-com of all time, When Harry Met Sally). Deader than Alice from The Brady Bunch. (Too soon?) Dead, dead, dead. Then I watched Begin Again, a new bit of bittersweetness starring Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightley as a down-and-out music producer and a broken-hearted singer-songwriter, respectively, and I'm feeling a little Gary Oldman-esque. In other words: my bad. Under the direction of John Carney (of Once fame), romantic comedies are alive and well. They can begin again. Eek, that title. So cheesy. I guess you can't have everything. But you can have this movie, which will leave you wondering if perhaps the demise of the record label and the rise of the DIY musician isn't so bad after all. At least not when Ruffalo (still a dreamboat) and Knightley (I forgive you for trying—and failing—to be Lizzie Bennet) and CeeLo Green are involved. What's great about Begin Again is that it subverts your expectations. Again and again. Just when you cynically say to yourself, “Ah, what we have here is another Jerry McGuire,” Mos Def, who plays Ruffalo's disgruntled business partner, says, “This isn't Jerry Maguire.” No, it's not. It's much, much better.
- Running Time:
- Release Date: Tuesday, July 1, 2014
- MPAA Rating: R
- Critic's Score: A
- Watch the trailer