Life With Music (2019) Movie Review

Director: Claude Lalonde

Writer: Louis Godbout (Screenplay)

Starring: Patrick Stewart, Katie Holmes, Giancarlo Esposito

Plot: A famous pianist struggling with stage fright late in his career finds inspiration with a free-spirited music critic.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Music Magic

Story: Life with Music starts as aging pianist Henry Cole (Stewart) has started getting crippling stage fright, not being able to return for an encore, Paul (Esposito) does try to help calm the nerves and when he meets music critic Helen Morrison (Holmes) he starts to talk about the thing he loves the most, music.

We follow Henry as he looks to rediscover his inspiration to perform, without the fears that have crippled his later years on the stage.

Thoughts on Life with Music

Characters – Henry Cole is the world famous pianist, he has performed for millions on the years, but has started to see himself dealing with stage fright and wanting to talk away form the spotlight, he has lost his desire to be in the world anymore, though he does have the desire to want to teach the next generation. Helen Morrison is a music critic that has been admiring Henry for years and finding herself getting the intimate time with her idol, helping him make his decision on his future. Paul is Henry’s agent that has always helped him through the difficult times, trying to help him put everything together for his performances, being there are a friend when needed too.

PerformancesPatrick Stewart is delightful in the leading role being everything you would expect from him, Katie Holmes is great too, as is Giancarlo Esposito as the agent who will give motivation.

StoryThe story here follows an aging pianist who is trying to cure his stage fright and find his motivation to return to the stage. This is an interesting look at trying to rediscover ones magic someone once had for their passion and the different people they might meet in life. While this is well acted, the story isn’t as engaging as it could be, focusing more on witnessing Henry looking at what makes life worth living, rather than taking on everything overly serious.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us the different locations Henry would have been to through his career, along with places where he could discover the magic he has lost.

Scene of the Movie – Daniel’s visit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many shots of Henry wandering.

Final Thoughts This is a good look at seeing how someone could lose the passion for something they love and with Patrick Stewart, you know you have something special in the performance too.

Overall: Passion Growing.

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – N – Nobody’s Fool (2018) Movie Review

Director: Tyler Perry

Writer: Tyler Perry (Screenplay)

Starring: Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Omari Hardwick, Mehcad Brooks, Amber Riley, Whoopi Goldberg, Missi Pyle

Plot: A woman is released from prison and reunites with her sister. She soon discovers that her sister is in an online relationship with a man who may not be what he seems.

Tagline – She Shows Up. Everything Blows Up.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Misses the Serious Side

Story: Nobody’s Fool starts as Danica (Sumpter) has been in the middle an internet relationship, working in advertisment with her partner Kalli (Riley), she gets news her sister Tanya (Haddish) is being released from prison with Danica needing to offer her a place to stay. Danica needs to help Tanya find a job which ends up being easier than expected with her local coffee shop giving her a role.

As the Tanya learns about Danica’s mysterious relationship, she wants to try and prove whether he is real or not, believing she is a catfish just wanting to take advantage of her.

Thoughts on Nobody’s Fool

Characters – Danica is a workaholic that works in advertisement getting a project she has been looking forward too, she has an internet boyfriend that hasn’t shown her his face before. She reluctantly takes in her sister after her prison time, which soon sees her life turned upside down when she learns that her boyfriend might not be who he is and sees her career spiral out of control. Tanya is the loudmouth sister who is fresh out of prison and starts to question everything in Danica’s life, from her relationship, the flirts with the coffee guy and how much time she spends working. Frank runs the coffee shop next door to Danica’s work, he always has her coffee ready with a rose because of his crush on her, he has rebuilt his life after his own errors and is willing accept his past will never change who he is now.

PerformancesTika Sumpter does well with her career driven character, she does show how being heartbroken can make you do strange things, though the character isn’t that nice at times. Tiffany Haddish brings all her energy to this role, it does get annoying at times if we are being honest. Omari Hardwick is the mysterious man with a past which he is trying to fix, he is the strongest of the performers through this film. Amber Riley does bring the more sensible supporting comedy to the film too.

StoryThe story here follows a businesswoman whose life gets turned upside down when her criminal sister gets released from prison and ends up pointing out a few things about her life, seeing her need to make some strange decisions to learn who she really is. This story does have aplenty of confusing elements involved in it, the biggest problems comes from just how Danica acts towards Frank who she believes is wrong for her just because he committed a crime in his past, she doesn’t want to let somebody start a new life, then we add in the mysterious internet boyfriend with he catfish angle, which tends to get forgotten for part of the film too. Tanya seems to be a character we are meant to be supporting the road to recovery, only for her to end up just being comic relief, while being too much to deal with. The message here is clear, to focus on the idea that we need to let people live their life before judging them on the mistakes of their past.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy comes heavily from Haddish, who goes over the top, while Amber Riley nails the comedy well through the film. The romance in the film follows Danica as she learns to notice what love really is, instead of just covering up the reality of her own break up.

SettingsThe film is set in the big city, it shows us just how fast life can move for somebody trying to be a success and find love.

Scene of the Movie – Kalli being a fun best friend.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Danica being too shallow and judgemental.

Final Thoughts This is a comedy that seems to get the serious message lost at times, it does have a heart to everything going on, only for it to fall slightly flat when it comes to character decisions.

Overall: This is a comedy that just doesn’t get the point over enough.