From Once writer/director John Carney comes secret reboot Sing Street. He sure knows how to write and direct movies about motley outcasts starting bands in Ireland.
On the one hand this movie bottles (at the source) a perfect cocktail of uniquely, or nearly uniquely, teenage feelings. The belief not just in the possible but in the inevitable, in the – dare I say it – destined.
On the other hand, I do have to dare to say it, because the successes of this movie highlight the distance I have traveled, drifted rather, from a place where destiny, where getting the girl through the power of music, where love can cross all boundaries, or at least the Irish Sea, where losers can become kings, seemed possible, let alone destined. And again that is based on this film’s success. I imagine the cynics, if not converted, will have a harder time buying into the cheesiness of this movie than the rest of us. And I don’t bunch myself in with the rest of the cynics there, because I do bunch myself in with the converted.
This movie might be tropey, it might check all of the boxes that you would expect, but in doing so manages a few good left jabs with some of the most compelling and believable characters on screen in recent memory, (You can’t watch Paper Towns or The Spectacular Now without wondering whether or not Hollywood knows what kids are anymore) with awkward moments, and anger, and sadness, in perfect measures, and moments, the sort that we can believe in because we’ve had them before. And then a good clean right hook of an original soundtrack to follow that up.
Some of the best moments in the movie are when characters don’t understand what the hell other characters are talking about. Someone says something profound in The Fault in our Stars and everyone just goes wow, or worse, acts like that’s the way everyone talks all the time. Someone says something a bit complicated in Sing Street and characters argue about what it means, or call it stupid, or pretentious. It pulls you in like that. “I’ve been there. This was me. I had no idea what I wanted. But I wanted it anyway. I had no idea where I was going. And yet I went.”