Christopher Walken in the role he was born to play: a lady-killing crooner. Paul’s on his fifth, maybe sixth, maybe seventh wife. He’s one of (maybe even THE, depending who’s version of his Wikipedia page you believe) most romantic singers of all time, but his star’s been fading of late. It’s not quite the kind of album kids are buying these days, and when he’s asked to open for The Flaming Lips, it’s ironically. He’s living in the slums of The Hamptons for crumb’s sake!
But this is not (just) a movie about an aging artist. Paul is also a failed family man. He has two daughters – the dependable Corinne and the mess Jude (Amber Heard), who actually kind of takes after him. So of course they hate each other. He can’t resist giving her advice about her fledgling musical career, and she can’t help reminding him of the many ways he’s disappointed her. And the other sister mopes about hoping any of her soaring, impressing achievements will be noticed by someone, anyone.
Christopher Walken is genius in this. You know you want to watch him sing and swing his little hips, so stop resisting. You must see him do this. The surprise is that Amber Heard is not awful. And believe me, I’d written her off as a floozy. And maybe this was just a fortuitous role for her, but she really seemed to have some substance. You know it pains me to admit that. Plus, her Walken impression is SNL-jeopardy-worthy, and I do mean that from the bottom of my heart.
p.s. To avoid confusion, Paul Giamatti was busy, so the role of agent\manager\lawyer will be played by Oliver Platt, who was perfectly serviceable in the role.