WRITTEN BY: Huck Botko, Emily Wachtel
DIRECTED BY: Megan Griffiths
STARRING: Toni Collette, Thomas Haden Church, Oliver Platt, Ryan Eggold
RATING: 3.5 stars
Stax magazine editor Giles (Oliver Platt) gives music journalist Ellie Klug (Toni Collette) one last chance to save her job. She is tasked with finding out what happened to rock star Matthew Smith who disappeared a decade ago. The assignment is a particularly difficult one for Ellie because Matthew was her first love and she has some unresolved issues about their relationship. Ellie teams up with the rich and bored Charlie (Thomas Haden Church) who decides to make a documentary film about her quest.
Lucky Them is a road trip film in which the protagonist is on an unusual journey of self-discovery while mourning her past to make way for her future. It is about confronting your demons and letting go of them to find peace within yourself. Such a lovely sentiment can never be emphasised too much in a film because it is such an important life lesson. The theme of music is the launching pad and catalyst for many plot points and ideas in the film, which reminded me of last year's Begin Again. It is hard not to compare the two, although they are quite different stories, because they both use music as a way of demonstrating their poignant messages. Unfortunately, Lucky Them does not do it as well as Begin Again. For starters, it is much darker and although the climactic scene is powerful and the resolution hopeful, it lacks the spark of Begin Again.
Collette is wonderful as the self-loathing protagonist who makes some questionable choices because she is so heartbroken. Church plays such a quirky character and he provides some great dead-pan humour. Ryan Eggold has a pivotal role as Lucas, a musician who Ellie kisses during an interview and then has a complicated relationship with, revealing so much that is wrong with Ellie. Platt only appears in a few scenes but he gives a solid performance too. There is also a fantastic surprise cameo in the film.
Ultimately, Lucky Them is a funny, sad and thought-provoking film.