Did we ever think Adam Levine would go from a pop rock ditty like “This Love” to emperor of all he sees? The tattooed serial dater of extremely thin, tall models, also judge from “The Voice,” now goes all Timberlake and jumps into movies. Levine is part of a knockout ensemble in John Carney’s “Can a Song Save Your Life,” which The Weinstein Company bought over the weekend for $7 million.
Carney wrote and directed the beloved folky romance called “Once” that turned into a hit movie and a Tony winning Broadway musical. Trust me, “Song” will be just as beloved and will find its way onto Broadway soon enough. Not only is it charming, delightful, moving, funny, it’s also like a New Yorked glossed up “Once” but in the best way.
Levine plays a just about to hit big rocker who comes to New York with his British songwriter girlfriend. That would be Keira Knightley in her best role ever, a kind of Aimee Mann-Natasha Bedingfield-Norah Jones who doesn’t know what a big star Greta has a best friend of course who is funny and talented– James Corden. And then she meets her manager, played by Mark Ruffalo in what may be his role of a lifetime too.
Ruffalo’s Dan (married to but separated from Catherine Keener, they are the parents of Hallie Steinfeld) is a spot on re-creation of a loser manager and ne’er do well owner of an indie label who just needs one song, one hit, one great new act so he can make his comeback. There are hundreds of real stories like this, about guys who you think are finished and then they waltz into the room with a new superstar. And Ruffalo is perfection. It’s as if he’s lived the life.
So what about the music? Remember The New Radicals? They had two huge hits in the late 90s with “You Get What You Give” and “Someday We’ll Know.” Then Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois went off and wrote tons of hits for other people. They didn’t want to make more New Radicals albums. Go figat sure.
Now the pair, along with Brisebois’s husband, have written all the wonderful songs for Carney’s movie. Carney’s also got a great song from Glen Hansard, who wrote the Oscar winning “Once” songs. This whole group should be honored by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. They may be the last of the great pop rock tunesmiths.
Anyway: “Song” won’t come out until summer 2014, so I’ll wait for more rhapsodizing. But it will be well worth the wait.