Nothing blows up in Begin Again and that’s a good thing. This “little flick” stars Mark Ruffalo as a down and out music producer. He has a drinking problem, gets kicked from his own company (by a very professional looking Ludacris), and ends up in a bar listening to a girl sing. The girl is Keira Knightly and she’s contemplating a return to her native London after being dumped by her boyfriend – Adam Levine playing a singer who’s hit the big time. So Mark feels the magic of Keira and convinces her to cut a CD with him. Both are wary, but pull together friends and contacts to form a group. Nobody is getting paid as they record on the streets of New York. (And NYC is an awesome location – Central Park, between buildings, under a bridge, etc)
The joy of music shines through. Everybody has pushed their restart button and are trying to figure out their lives. Mark reconnects with his daughter (Hailee Steinfeld) and slowly stops annoying his ex – Catherine Keener (always good). Keira works at forgetting Adam Levine, but they do cross paths. I won’t say how that ends or begins. All in all – the music and songs are quite decent and entertaining, as are the performances. Ruffalo plays shaggy haired well, with those puppy dog eyes and lopsided grin. I will say that fortunately the movie does not give us a cliché hook up for him and Keira. That would be quite oogie. Instead it’s a friendship and that’s more powerful.
Begin Again starts with angst, but ends with smiles, singing, and joy. This is a nice date movie, or one to enjoy on your own. Just sing.