So much for “Love and Mercy,” Bill Pohlad’s fine film about the life and times of Brian Wilson. After four sleepy weeks, the John Cusack-Paul Dano starrer concludes most of its run with just under $11 million in the bank. What could have been a real hit, with awards potential, now sinks into the horizon just beyond the Sloop John B.
Roadside Attractions, which I like to call “Roadkill,” blew this film just the way they did Robert Redford in “All Is Lost” directed by JC Chandor. They will argue that “Love and Mercy” is their biggest hit so far, but that’s a left-handed compliment. All of their movies would have benefited from actual publicity and marketing.
“Love and Mercy” never really capitalized on Brian Wilson and his music. Where was Brian Wilson Week on Jimmy Fallon, for example? Or the Today show? Where was the big live launch in NY with a concert, even three or four songs?
Strangely enough back in April the movie hosted a private advanced screening with the stars– and no press. Does a tree make a noise when it falls in the forest if no one is around? That whole episode cinched the deal, and was typical of Roadside’s deafness when it comes to press.
None of it made sense. The Beach Boys are still a huge touring presence on the road. Their music is incredibly popular. So much more could have been done for “Love and Mercy.” But that ship has sailed.