Juliet, Naked tries to bare all

mv5bmtk3ote3odg1ml5bml5banbnxkftztgwmti4nte4ntm-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_Juliet, Naked (2018)
R | 1h 45min | Comedy, Drama, Music | 31 August 2018 (USA)

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Synopsis: Annie is stuck in a long-term relationship with Duncan – an obsessive fan of obscure rocker Tucker Crowe. When the acoustic demo of Tucker’s hit record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads to a life-changing encounter with the elusive rocker himself. Based on the novel by Nick Hornby, JULIET, NAKED is a comic account of life’s second chances.

Review: Juliet, Naked is a quirky comedy stabilized by grounded acting and a lot of heart. It is fun to watch and although it has some emotional moments it never feels weighed down or tries to manipulate the viewer. There are subtle winks at romance too which gives it another layer to help the story along. Some might find it a perfect renter but it is a solid option for a big screen date night too.

I have been a huge fan of Chris O’Dowd since the IT CROWD days. He is hilarious in this one as Duncan, a fanboy devoted to a reclusive musician Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke). Duncan spends his time writing a blog and hosting chat sessions about Crowe’s most famous album, Juliet. Annie (Rose Byrne) is Duncan’s long time girlfriend who tolerates his obsession and seems troubled by their stagnant relationship. When a chance encounter puts Annie and Tucker together it causes them all to have to face the music.

The character of Tucker Crowe is well thought out and Hawke is fun to watch in the role. Yes it often feels stereotyped but at the same time musicians are an easy target. Crowe is older and trying to make amends with all of the immatures decisions of his early years. He can’t help that his five kids from four women aren’t as quick sit in a circle and sing Kumbaya.  He also can’t help the outrageous rumors that plague the fan sites. Easy to say that you like Tucker and want to see his life work out.

If anything disappointed me in the story is how little we get of Duncan after the character of Crowe is introduced. There are a few scenes of them together but I wanted more of the “super fan jealous of his girlfriend’s relationship with his idol” and less of the “rocker turned grandpa trying to fix the past”. But I get it. The story is more about Crowe than Duncan and it works great the way it is. Just saying.

Juliet, Naked is rated R for language. Though an adult film it is certainly not offensive or crude. These are adults acting – for the most part – like adults. It is a picture of life and how it can get messy. I give it 3 out of 5 B-Sides.  Fantastic performances and a soulful script make it one to see for sure.