As my kids have gotten older, we have really been to a lot more movies than we used to go see. I enjoy discussing movies after we see them and have come to a place with my mature teens (17 and 15) that we can discuss themes in movies that are adult in nature. My 15 year old has toyed with the idea of being a singer-songwriter, so we decided to take the PR company for Begin Again up on their offer to let us come see and review Keira Knightley’s latest flick. I made it a daughter and mother ‘date’ night movie and we saw it at the Alamo Draft House together a few weeks back.
In the movie, Keira Knightley plays Greta, an aspiring singer/songwriter who is dating another singer/songwriter from a small town where they knew each other well. He winds up getting famous and she doesn’t. The fame goes to her partner’s head and he dumps her for one of the record label girls, leaving Greta alone in the big city. She runs in to an old friend who lets her stay at his apartment and he drags her out to a bar where new talent try their luck in a smoky haze before a small audience.
The other main charachter, Dan (Adam Levine), stumbles in to the bar after being fired from his job as a record producer and having a REALLY BAD day. After he’s full of a few drinks, Greta’s friend pulls her up on stage to perform one of her own songs. Her indie sound and passion as she sings awakens his ability to hear the “rest of the music” as he imagines a piano rift, drums, and other instruments intermingling with Greta’s guitar strums. Dan enlists the help of his rap-star friend to finance the project and offers to help her produce an album OUTSIDE on the streets of New York.
In the process of creating music together (some of which is really good enough to download off of YouTube, by the way), Greta and Dan both are wrapping up emotional loose ends – him dealing with a failed marriage and dysfunctional relationship with his daughter, her dealing with the pain of heartache and the need to be confident enough to go on with life on her own.
While there are hints of sexually immoral issues and cussing, there is also a redeeming message – that you should honor yourself and be true to your partner and family. The movie has a surprising hidden message smack in the middle of the music industry, the big city, and modern day culture… that integrity still matters.
We really enjoyed the show and my daughter said it is one of her favorites, “surprisingly”. I knew her singer-songwriter side would love the quirky charm of street performances on rooftops and brightly-lit alleyways filled with playing children.
I would highly suggest that you make sure your teen is mature, strong in their own faith and able to have in-depth conversations about relationships prior to taking them to see it, but I think it is a great movie to open up discussion about heavy topics that are important for them in the future.
Such a great movie – here’s the trailer:
Let me know what you think if you go see it!
Disclaimer: I wasn’t compensated to post this review, all opinions are my own.