A new review from The Movie Snob.
Begin Again (B). Remember that sweet little Irish movie Once from several years ago? Writer-director John Carney is back with another movie about the power of music, only this time it’s set in New York and he has actual movie stars in it. Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers) plays a down-and-out record executive named Dan who is stirred back to something like life when he hears a winsome gal named Greta (Keira Knightley, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) playing acoustic guitar and singing one of her own songs in a bar. She’s emotionally bruised herself, having been recently dumped by her rock-star boyfriend (Adam Levine, TV’s The Voice). Unable to get record-label attention without a demo, Dan and Greta set out to record an entire album in various NYC locales. It goes beyond being a feel-good movie; I’d have to call it a fairy tale, since some potentially serious problems (like Dan’s relationship with the adolescent daughter (Hailee Steinfeld, 3 Days to Kill) he ran out on) seem to just take care of themselves. But the actors turn in nice performances, and nobody does winsome like Keira Knightley, so just go with it and you should have a good time. There was a smattering of applause in the theater after the movie was over, so I’m not the only person who liked it.