Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Love and Mercy biopic features the tortured life of Beach Boys Brian Wilson

Movie:   Love & Mercy

Rating: PG-13, 2 hours

Grade:    B

In a Nutshell:    Growing up in California, I was required to be a Beach Boys fan.   It was a social law I gladly obeyed.  My dad even bought a Cadillac.  I remember the first time I saw Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys in Concert .  The audience cheered for their love of his music and for him.

This sad, yet triumphant biopic features great music and a painful look into Brian Wilson’s troubled life, Love & Mercy .

Uplifting Theme:
·         Just say no to drugs!
·         It’s truly amazing what our love and mercy can do to transform others.

Things I liked:
·         I adore Paul Giamatti in anything.  He plays a despicable and manipulative therapist with crazy ‘60’s hair.  He said “I have it under control.  I AM the control.”
·         Elizabeth Banks is charming and sweet as Brian’s patient girlfriend.
·         The legendary Brian Wilson is played very well by both Paul Dano and John Cusack, as they reveal Brian during two struggling periods of his life.   I liked going back and forth in time, but I especially liked knowing the triumphant present of Brian Wilson.
·         There are two interesting moments, one at the beginning and one at the end, where the screen goes blank.  Feel the moments.
·         SPOILER ALERT:  I loved watching the real Brian Wilson sing Love & Mercy at the end of the movie.
      Director Bill Pohlad does a great job staying true to Brian's life without taking unnecessary creative license.
Things I didn’t like:
·         Why is genius always so tortured?
·         It broke my heart to see Brian’s abusive father and the cruel treatment of his creative son.  It was interesting to hear Brian talk about his dad.  He said, “He scared me so much I think he scared me into making good songs.”
      It's a bit slow-moving.

Funny lines:
·         “Maybe I’m Cookoo for Coco Puffs!” – Brian Wilson
·         “Hang on to your ego….is this a drug song?” – Chuck Britz  (Mark Linett)

Interesting lines:
·         “How does that work?” – girl in band
“Well, it works in my head.” – Brian Wilson
·         “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” – Brian
·         There was someone.  He was no good.  He broke my heart.” – Melinda
“He shouldn’t have done that.”  - Brian
“Well, I shouldn’t have let him.” – Melinda
·         “I think I might be losing it.” – Brian Wilson
“I don’t blame you.  There’s a lot to lose out there.”  - Carl Wilson

Tips for Parents:
·         Lots of profanity, including 1 F-bomb.
·         Lots of talk and scenes about drugs.  Some of the musicians smoke weed during a work session.
·         Children and some teens will be bored.

Beach Boys music from the movie:

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