Annie and Duncan are in a weird holding pattern. They’re not exactly unhappy as a couple, just sort of bored and boring. Stuck? She’s beginning to realize that he’s in love with someone else, sort of. Duncan (Chris O’Dowd) is obsessed with Tucker Crowe, a musician who hasn’t made music in decades. But Duncan is passionate about Tucker Crowe like nobody’s business; he runs a blog that talks about nothing but. Annie (Rose Byrne) feels like the third wheel in her marriage and it only gets worse when some new stuff (well, unheard early versions of an album) surfaces. She can’t compare to the mythic singer who blew the world away with his soulful music and then disappeared. And Annie starts to feel just resentful enough to leave a nasty comment on the blog, which breaks poor Duncan’s heart.
But her comment garners feedback from at least one sympathizer: the man himself, Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke). Tucker is living a quiet life in seclusion, sleeping in his ex-wife’s garage and caring for their son (while neglecting his other children, including the one about to make him a grandfather). They strike up quite a correspondence, an “email affair” she calls it, but don’t worry, Duncan surprises us by having an actual “penis in the vagina” affair first, and so they split up. Which leaves Annie free to meet Tucker – and let’s face it, is there any better revenge than hooking up with your ex’s idol? Although, for Tucker, this has got to be next level groupie shit. She’s the first lady of his fan club.
This movie felt immediately, and I mean IMMEDIATELY familiar to me. There was no review for it on our site, and it would be unusual though not unheard of for me to watch a movie and not have a thought or two. Finally I decided it was just a very faithful adaptation of a book I’d read (I read everything) (by Nick Hornsby, by the way), and left it at that. But the deeper truth is that the plot is also just a little worn. We pretty much know where it’s going before it’s left the station. But in this case, it really is about the journey. Rose Byrne and Ethan Hawke have this easy chemistry – satin and sandpaper that just sort of work. And you know how I feel about Chris O’Dowd. Or maybe/probably you don’t. I luuurb him. He’s the chicken AND the waffles. So maybe this movie isn’t super meaningful, but it’s easy watching with a side of gravy.
“easy watching with a side of gravy.”
So, the typically Hornsby fare, what else. He’s a true master of making whole novels out of one observation and half an idea. Fortunately he’s also an easy read, and the perfect blueprint purveyor for fluffy movies.
I saw a trailer for this recently. I think it’s something I’d probably watch on Netfix.
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Love Chris O’Dowd, so will definitely look out for this one. Great review, thanks.
I’m waiting for this one to get marked down at my video store so I can pick it up,it looks really charming….
My wife and I loved this one. Easily predictable, but fun getting there.
Yeah, I would have guessed Hornsby as well. Seems like his thing. I actually might give this one a go though sounds like a good one after a stressful day!
You’re sure you haven’t seen it before? Because I’ve read books that I realized I had to have read before because they are familiar. But then again… Who knows?
I finally watched this tonight. Light, easy movie with good performances. I’m a huge fan of Chris O’Dowd’s too, and I thought his little “vlog” scene at the end during the credits was hilarious.