Director: John Carney
Year Released: 2016
Music-mad Conor (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) and pals, in mid-eighties Ireland, form a band as an emotional release from the pressures of poverty (and the brutality of an all-boys school) ... oh, and to impress a young lady named Raphina (Lucy Boynton). I like how the kids keep adopting different clothes to reflect their interest in different musicians of the day (Duran Duran gets a lot of airplay) and the cast is pleasant enough (Jack Reynor is an Irish Seth Rogan), but Carney keeps making carbon copies of his own (flimsy, cloying) movies, starting (I'm guessing) with the songs he wants to showcase (these are the most important aspects to him) and then plugging in the (clichéd) characters, paying little attention to the dramatic aspects he started (a bully is quickly recruited for security purposes, a cruel priest-headmaster is dissed in a song, I guess the parents will eventually finalize their divorce). The ending, too, tries for cute romance - sailing away to Wales with the girlfriend - but then reality settles in and you have to wonder how fast they'll be back in their homeland, broke and despondent (they even leave the band behind!).