Review: Sing Street, B
Rated PG-13, 106 minutes
The charming new fictional musical comedy "Sing Street" is one of the year's most crowd-pleasing new films, thanks in part to the 1980's themed music that peppers the film. Directed and written by "Once's" John Carney along with some original music also written by Carney, this familiar tale is essentially a revisit to the equally charming 1991 Alan Parker film "The Commitments," with a little more heart than that film. In 1985, Dublin teenager Cosmo (engaging newcomer and musician Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, in his debut film) forms a rock 'n' roll band to win the heart of an aspiring model named Raphina (Lucy Boynton). An enjoyable, immensely likable film about music, love and family, "Sing Street" is a winning, upbeat tale in spite of its predictability and familiarity. The film's appealing cast and the music is the most memorable part of Carney's new film, and set in the mid-1980's Ireland, the "Commitments"-like vibe it gives off is helped further by the familiar '80's tunes and references, including Duran Duran, Hall & Oates, M, Joe Jackson and The Cure, though the original tunes are quite good too. The one that will stay with you (and especially since it's over the credits too), is the fun punkish rock tune "The Riddle of the Model," as well as "Up," "Brown Shoes" and the catchy "Drive It Like You Stole It" in one of the film's most memorable sequences, a dreamlike 1950's prom dance. Walsh-Peelo and Boynton are a handsome pairing, and Jack Reynor, as Cosmo's wise older brother, who has aspirations of his own - his monologue late in the film is one of the movie's most touching sequences. Once Cosmo and his pals start singing and making videos, you have a sense of where it and he might go, especially as he takes some longing gazes toward Raphina and the Irish sea toward London. "Sing Street," with it's charms and catchy tunes, will steal your heart and have you bouncing out of theater, likely to go purchase the movie's soundtrack.