October 21, 2014

Begin Again (2013)

Keira Knightly, Mark Ruffalo, Mos Def, Adam Levine, Catherine Keener

There are obviously so many movies released every year you could never watch them all even if you were so inclined. But if it has Keira Knightly in it, I make an effort to see it. Sure, her repeated "I'm not beautiful and I never wanted to be a star" claims get a little annoying, but I do actually still think she's beautiful and she's one of my favorite actresses regardless. I am also a total sucker for period pieces, which she does a lot of.

I like her so much I've been a staunch defender of her severe under bite, saying it doesn't detract from her acting. But I had never watched a movie that featured her as a singer. That is, a movie that repeatedly showed close-ups of her mouth in action. It's bad, folks. Knightly's singing is actually quite pleasant, but it was hard to focus on with the camera staring at her mouth so often.

Under bite aside, the acting in this movie is solid throughout. Mark Ruffalo still has his disheveled look and personality thing going on, but takes it closer to The Kids Are All Right level of loser-dom, which is perfect for his character. Even the daughter in this movie isn't super annoying. And even though Adam Levine made me want to puke every time I saw him on screen, I give him credit - he is able to play a character at least as douchy as he appears in real life. (I feel compelled to repeat the line from the article I liked to: "Adam Levine, aka the human equivalent of testing positive for chlamydia." It's just so hilarious. And true.)

This movie was very reminiscent of Chef with its indie charm and feel good story. I think the industry would call this movie "heart warming." This translates to a plot that takes you to the edge of eye-rolls with it's cheesiness, but that you still somehow enjoy. It's probably unfortunate that I watched this movie when I did because while I walked away from Chef thinking it was a good movie, I found this one to be a little less impressive, despite the fact that I like both Mark Ruffalo and Keira Knightly better than Jon Favreau. I guess indie charm wears off after one viewing.

Final word: Substitute music for food and you have Chef.

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