Director John Carney has a certain feel to his films, and most of that is the message that music can connect people in incredible ways. It helps us grow, and even find love. Sound a bit cheesy? Well, yeah, it is at times, but the three films that he has written and directed are all so well done that usually you can forget the familiar plotting and corny moments. ‘Sing Street’ is a film full of uplifting moments and some great music, and a great cast of characters.
Cosmo (newcomer Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) is a 15 year old boy in Dublin, Ireland, in 1985. His parents are on the verge of divorce, his sister doesn’t pay much attention to him or his older brother, and his older brother would rather spend his days smoking, listening to music, and imagining what could’ve been. To top it all off, they aren’t doing too well with their finances; Cosmo has to go from his nice private school to a harsher Catholic school. His life could be better, but he tried to do his best. That’s when he meets Raphina (Lucy Boynton) a 16 year old aspiring model. When he first meets her, he panics and says he needs a model to be in his band’s music video, she agrees, and Cosmo has to get a group of misfit kids from his school together and form a band.
It’s a story that you can see the plot points coming from a mile away, but honestly you don’t care. This is a fantastic coming of age story. Cosmo finds something through this music that helps him grow, thrive, and express himself in ways he wasn’t sure he could do.
Mr. Carney’s films always have this general theme to them, that music brings everyone together, and even if that may not be 100% true, you believe it is, while watching his movies.
‘Sing Street’ is just a charming movie all the way through, and it’s a shame it doesn’t have a bigger release (It’s only playing in one theater in Denver at the time of writing this). It’s a movie that leaves you with a big stupid grin on your face and a nice warm feeling in your stomach. Seeing Cosmo go from a timid kid to one who could care less what people think of him is fantastic. You root for him to get the girl the entire time, and the relationship with the band mates makes for some of the movie’s many highlights. It’s hard to find a lot wrong with this film. The final 10 minutes might seem a bit implausible, and a bit too “teenage dream” like, but everything else in this film is just awesome.
Sporting an 80s soundtrack, a mix of Carney’s original songs and some popular bands (Duran Duran & Hall and Oats), this movie is one that I think most can get enjoyment out of. While Carney’s other two films were about adults finding healing through music, this one is a teen growing up and trying to find a place in the world. The cast is full of first time actors and they all do a fantastic job, the soundtrack has some great throwback songs, and the story is something familiar, but so well told that you really don’t care that you’ve seen a story like this a million times before. Check this one out if you can, it’s definitely worth your time.
Rating 4/5: Sporting a great cast, soundtrack, and story. ‘Sing Street’ is a movie that will put a huge smile on your face long after the credits roll.