Posted on Tuesday, December 18th, 2012 by Germain Lussier
Most of us have come to terms with being disappointed by films. Unfortunately, it happens more often than not, mostly in the summer, where a film with a fantastic trailer, poster, cast and premise ends up being terrible. In fact, it happens so often, many of us have become desensitized to it. “Oh well, onto the next one.” Every once in a while, though, we’re still disappointed by something we really wanted to love. And it stings. It hurts. How is it possible this movie, that looked so perfect, could be so disappointing? This is how I felt earlier this week after seeing David Chase‘s Not Fade Away.
Angie reviewed the film at its New York premiere and I ignored her dismissal. There’s no way a coming of age story written and directed by the man behind The Sopranos, featuring all kinds of incredible Sixties rock and a fantastic cast, could be bad. When I got my own chance to see the movie, what I found was a film with several truly excellent ingredients, blended into a story that’s too small to say what it wants to say. Basically, Not Fade Away is a mess, but that mess is comprised of parts that show the brilliance of the film could have been.
And that’s what’s showcased below. A clip from the film which shows the beautiful, exciting promise it fails to fulfill. But maybe you’ll disagree. We’ll discuss it below.
Thanks to Paramount for this clip.
If you liked that clip, I urge you to see the movie to see the setup and aftermath. This audition was my favorite scene in the movie and an example of what I hoped it would be. A young man and his friends, inspired by the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, struggling to be a band in a society that’s against them. And here’s their shot.
That arc is in there, but Chase has much bigger plans, turning this simple story into a microcosm of the Sixties. The film can’t contain it. I think Angie said it best: “Not Fade Away winds up a coming-of-age tale with no actual coming-of-age.”
But that song above is great. The scene is great, especially the way it juxtaposes the band’s shining moment with the relationships in their lives. The close-ups, the editing, the sound mix. All perfect. Too bad it doesn’t all add up. I’m hurt, ladies and gentlemen, but at least I have that clip above to remind me of what Not Fade Away could have been.
Not Fade Away opens in New York and LA on December 21 and expands from there.