This is a rare moment for me - I've thoroughly enjoyed a Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo film, with newcomer Adam Levine. Begin Again is the story of singer-songwriter Gretta, who catches the attention of down-on-his-luck music executive Dan, when she performs in a heart-broken state in a local bar. And as he pursues her to work on an album, they become unlikely friends, learning about each other's lives, their loves and losses, while singing and recording all over New York City.
There is nothing 'big' about this film. It's a simple story, with simple moments, but it grips and entertains all the way through, with some fun moments and an excellent soundtrack.
The supporting cast (Adam Levine, Catherine Keener, Hailee Steinfeld, James Corden, Mos Def, CeeLo Green), and the characters they portray, are highly enjoyable. Mark Ruffalo as the drunk music producer is not doing anything new, but is quite endearing in any case. But it is Keira Knightley who is the biggest surprise in this film. Not only has she delivered a strong, natural performance, without overacting and over-effecting (as she usually does), she has sung most of the songs on the soundtrack - and has done a stellar job. This is my favourite soundtrack album of this year, with every song by Knightley and Levine an absolute delight.
This film is definitely worth a watch on a lazy weekend.