Sing Street Movie Review
Like a girl? Start a band. Wear makeup. Simple. John Carney’s follow-up to the musicals Once and Begin Again is a movie with such a dreadfully dull and off-puttingly lame title that I immediately dismissed it out of hand when it debuted in theaters, but Sing Street is a heartfelt and engaging drama, though if it feels a lot like countless other coming-of-age stories.
Sing Street is about a teenage boy who, to impress a girl, forms a rock band called… Sing Street (awful name for a band, awful name for a movie). That’s really the entire plot, although the strength of the film is in the writing, which is top notch. None of the actors blew me away, but Ferdia Walsh-Peelo makes for a solid lead and he has good chemistry with co-star Kelly Thornton. Her character needed a bit more depth--she felt more like a goal than a nuanced person at times--but overall Carney litters the film with interesting and charismatic characters and paints a beautiful and lively snapshot of 1980’s Dublin.
Based on what my critic friends had told me (remember, I skipped this one in theaters), however, Sing Street is the second coming of Christ, a drama and quasi-musical that’s so good that it puts Once (which won that Oscar for that incredibly mesmerizing song) and Begin Again (that movie where writer/director Carney bashed star Keira Knightley for being an awful person) to shame.
It’s not the second coming of Christ.
In fact, it’s a good movie, but one that is generally unoriginal and doesn’t beg for repeat viewings. It has a couple good musical numbers and, again, the film’s strength is not in its story but the nuances Carney inserts to set it apart (or tries to) from other coming-of-age movies about teenagers trying to impress the cool, mysterious hot girl--but overall I watched, I was entertained, and then I turned it off wondering what the hell all the hype was about.
Sing Street is a perfectly good movie, with an emphasis on good. Carney has carved another solid entry on his resume, but there’s nothing remarkable about this movie to declare it great, let alone better than his previous entries.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.