BEGIN AGAIN is potentially the sleeper hit of the summer.
In the few short weeks since it’s release — June 28 limited, July 11 wide — BEGIN AGAIN has earned nearly $13 million domestically. I would not be surprised if it settles around $20-25mil if word of mouth takes off toward the sleepy part of the season (August/September). 

Keira Knightley is utterly adorable Gretta, a UK transplant who is both inspiration and accomplice to her now-famous boyfriend, Dave Kohl. The duo have been together five years by the time we meet them, and the relationship concludes as quickly as it’s introduced. Kohl is enamored of his new-found fame and strays (totally cliche, much like douchebag playing him).

Gretta finds some solace at her friend Steve’s apartment, and hastily decides she cannot stay in the States a moment longer. He convinces her to join him at an open mic night nearby, and puts her on the spot to perform once there.

It is then that fate intervenes and the drunken shell of a record producer, Dan Mulligan, appears before her. 
Mulligan, coming off one hell of a bad day himself, stands amongst the disinterested crowd and imagines the potential of her music like some kind of schizophrenic savant. 

"It’s shit, it’s shit… Get out of my car!" (hurls CD out the window)

Not having signed a new artist in seven years, Dan Mulligan is jaded and below ‘down on his luck.’ His longtime friend and label partner, Saul, is not as amped on Gretta as Dan is, initially.  But, not being deterred or defeated by the lack of an offer from Distressed Records, Dan proposes that they record an album, rather than just a demo, with the city as their studio. 

It’s low key, low budget, and lyric-centric… and Gretta can’t turn it down.

The ragtag group of musicians they assemble, including pianist, guitarist, drums and an underaged strings section, are pure magic together. The folk meets pop meets jazz meets buzzy lo-fi is at once on-trend for the NYC underground and completely original.

Gretta not only revives Dan’s career, but helps to mend his relationship with his daughter, Violet, and his estranged wife, Miriam. Gretta and Dan click not just over music, but over having been brutally betrayed by their long-term partners. 
There are a couple of instances when you think they’re going to make their professional arrangement a bit more intimate, but they never do. I was OK with it, but my sister (who went to the film with me) was pissed they never hooked up. I don’t know that it would have helped the story along, and I think it would have changed the character of Gretta a bit too much to throw in another romantic entanglement— it would NEVER be her style to sleep her way to any success, nor would she jeopardize another cohesive working relationship with sex.

"You can tell a lot about a person by what’s on their playlist…"

There are three things about BEGIN AGAIN that were so perfect and cute and quirky that I was just grinning like an idiot there in the dark of the theater.

1. James Corden : Gretta’s sort of plump and awkward guitarist friend from England is first shown busking on the street, and they quickly strike up where they left off being besties. James Corden is totally adorable and hilarious, scoring some of the film’s choice one-liners. The British entertainer is known for roles in HISTORY BOYS and GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, as well as his comedy acts and work as a television presenter. He can be seen later this year in the big screen adaptation of INTO THE WOODS alongside a dozen or so A-listers from either side of the pond.

2. CeeLo Green : CeeLo does not play himself in BEGIN AGAIN, but I would feel safe betting that his acting was no great stretch from his real life and personality. His turn as 90s rapper Troublegum was totally endearing, delightfully whimsical, and showed so much heart and loyalty for Ruffalo’s Dan. Troublegum has a posse around him in each of the segments he appears, men to bust out beats and jot down his rhymes. He is funny, boisterous, warm and excited about life, about the project Dan and Gretta present, and in gracious awe of the fact that there is no one ‘right’ creative direction for their industry to progress. I wasn’t a big CeeLo fan before, but I can be swayed now.

3. “Defy You Not to Dance” Game : If I had more friends, I would totally play this adorable game immediately. After wrapping the record, everyone gathers at Steve’s hole-in-the-wall apartment, where “you put the key in the door and break a window,” and he takes control of the background jams. He picks a song and says boldly, “I defy you not to dance to this song—” and everyone has to stay frozen as he prances about taunting them to groove with him. Grown ups can be silly! And sometimes its just fun to put your drink down, stop making chitchat and dance like a fool with your friends. 

I feel like this movie is going to be HUGE on DVD, if the word of mouth doesn’t carry it further this summer while it’s in theaters. There wasn’t one thing about this movie I didn’t like, even Adam Levine! He’s a talented guy, but I don’t much care for his slimy bravado or over-reliance on the falsetto in like every song Maroon 5 puts out.
He appears at the beginning and end as Gretta’s ungrateful and thoughtless boyfriend Dave Kohl. Kohl had a few hits thanks to song placement in a popular film, and he never looks back after the first taste of fame. Dave records across the country, plays a few sizable shows, and grows the most heinous beard… It’s as if his prior life and goals with Gretta were supremely unsubstantial. From where I was sitting, Gretta was definitely the one settling to be with the emotionally-shallow Dave.

Her poignantly vengeful but still ladylike musical message to him 2/3 of the way through is one of the better songs in the entire film.

Supporting appearances by Hailee Steinfeld, as Violet Mulligan; Catherine Keener, as music critic Miriam; and Mos Def, as business-minded Saul.

If I gave stars, this is where I’d tell you “4 out of 5” or some value-scale assessment bullshit. I mean, just because #LauraLikedThatMovie doesn’t mean you will… I make no guarantees that my tastes will translate to your pop culture context. But I am fairly confident no one could be turned off by any of the elements of BEGIN AGAIN: romanticizing lost love, making new friends, pursuing a dream, frolicking about New York, and the creation of some pretty awesome songs. 

You can always let me know what you think, of BEGIN AGAIN, or any other title we’ve covered. =)

The Weinstein Company

I thought this movie was adorable.  It had heart, it was funny, and the music was pretty great as well! 


Bored? Bold what applies to you..


You are in high school.
You dropped out of high school.
You live within 20 minutes of your best friend.
You don’t have a best friend.
You live within 20 minutes of the last person you kissed.
You live within 20 minutes of your ex.
You have hugged someone in the last 48 hours.
You have been to the movies within the last week.
You have dated 3 or more people just this year.
You have been a designated driver. 
You have broken merchandise and not paid for it.
You have played strip poker.
You are Catholic.
You are atheist.
You recycle regularly.
You are a brunette.
You have dated a blonde.
You are friends with a redhead.
You are taller than your mum. 
You are taller than your dad.
You have a bank account.
You’ve written a check for less than $5.
You have visited the Statue of Liberty.
You have visited the Eiffel Tower.
You have visited Big Ben.
You have visited the Colosseum.
You have visited The Great Wall of China.
You have never been out of the country.
You have been a waiter/waitress.
You own a Bible.
You own something with a Pentagram on it.
You have used a Ouija Board.
You have been a witch for Halloween. 
You have been a zombie for Halloween.
You have your eyebrow pierced.
You have a Monroe piercing.
You have your nose pierced.
You have no tattoos. 
You have more than 2 tattoos.
You straighten your hair occasionally.
You have worn a dress in the last 3 days.
You live somewhere that gets snow. 
You celebrate Hanukkah.
You were at your own house last New Year’s.
You were at a bar last New Year’s.
You slept through last New Year’s.
You have worked on Christmas Eve. 
You have worked on Christmas.
You have been told ‘I love you’ by someone today.
You were told by someone who’s not family.
You slept in your own bed last night.
You regret kissing the last person you kissed. 
You are wearing a necklace right now.
You are wearing something red.
You are wearing something blue.
You are wearing something purple.
Your phone number ends with an even number.
You have kissed the last person you called/texted.
You are currently listening to music.
You are waiting for something.
You don’t like seafood.
You have eaten deer sausage.
You have given a complete stranger your phone number.
You have been hit on at work.
You have been hit on by someone more than 20 years older than you.
You have been whistled at.
You were creeped out by it.
You are a good speller.
You are very punctual.
You were dating someone in December of 2008.
You are still dating that person.
You have cheated on someone.
You have been on a cruise ship.
You have camped out in your own backyard.
You are wearing something that doesn’t belong to you.
You are a Pisces.
You are an Aquarius.
You are a Leo.
You wonder what will happen when you die.
You are afraid of the dark.
You write in all capital letters. 
You have been told you have nice handwriting.
You have had a song written for you.
You have had a picture drawn of you.
You have curly/wavy hair.
You are wearing a watch.
You are wearing flip flops.
You wouldn’t date someone who smoked.
You know someone with the same birthday as you.
You are a morning person.
You are a night owl.
You slept in past 10 am today.
You have big plans for next weekend. 
You are thinking of someone right now.
Your job is stressing you out.
You don’t have a job.
You have never had a job.
You were fired from your last job.
You know sign language.
You will usually try something at least once.
You have been swimming in the last month.
You are pessimistic by nature.
You have taken a ballet class. 
You have taken karate. 
You have taken gymnastics.
You wish on shooting stars.
You wish at 11:11. 
Your birthday has already come this year. 
You have been in a relationship that lasted longer than a year.
You aren’t over your ex.
You have gone after someone you knew was bad for you.
You have let someone use you.
You were/are a teenage mom. 
You are an otaku.
You are a cosplayer.
You were named after someone.
You like your name. 
Your last drink was water.
You have visited somewhere said to be ‘haunted’.
You have skipped school just because you didn’t feel like going.
You have taken medicine when you ‘feel a headache coming on’.
You are self-conscious about your body.
You have a hangover
You have a pet fish.
You have had a Jehovah’s Witness show up at your house.
You have good parents.
Your parents are still married.
You have step-siblings.
You are the oldest. 
You are adopted.
You have a triplet.
You don’t want kids.
You want more than four kids.
You have a bad temper.
You have made out with a complete stranger. 
You usually make the first move in an intimate situation.
You have broken your arm.
You have had to get stitches on your face.
You have had an MRI.
Your fingernails are painted.
You like to draw.
You like to sing.
You can play an instrument.
You keep a lot of secrets from people.
You don’t think people would accept you if they really got to know you.
You don’t trust people easily.
You borrowed something you really need to give back to someone.
You drive a car older than a 2002.
You have lost a friend you never thought you would.
You know a child who died of cancer.
You know a teenager who died in a car wreck.
You have done something illegal in the past 24 hours.
You have cut your hair in the last week.
You wear glasses.
Your favorite season is Autumn.
Your favorite color is orange.
Your favorite animal is a dolphin.
You last rode in a car with a relative.
You last rode in a car with a girl/woman.
You last rode in a car with the person you are dating. 
You regularly watch Asian dramas.
You love Chinese food.
Your best friend is older than you.
You have to go to school/work tomorrow.
You answered every question truthfully.


Survey #78 : Bold What’s True


  • I am a cuddler.
  • I am a morning person.
  • I am an only child.
  • I am currently in my pajamas.
  • I am currently pregnant.
  • I am left handed.
  • I am a little shy around the opposite gender at first. 
  • I bite my nails.
  • I can be paranoid at times.
  • I enjoy country music.
  • I enjoy smoothies.
  • I enjoy talking on the phone.
  • I have a car.
  • I have/had a hard time paying attention at school.
  • I have a hidden talent.
  • I have a pet/pets.
  • I have a tendency to fall for the “wrong” guy/girl.
  • I have all my grandparents.
  • I have been to another country.
  • I have been told that I have an unusual sense of humor.
  • I have or had broken a bone.
  • I have caller I.D. on my phone.
  • I have bathed someone.
  • I have changed a diaper.
  • I have changed a lot over the past year.
  • I have friends who have never seen my natural hair colour.
  • I have had major/minor surgery.
  • I have killed another person.
  • I have had my hair cut within the last week.
  • I have mood swings.
  • I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life.
  • I have rejected someone before.
  • I like the taste of blood.
  • I love Michael Jackson.
  • I love sleeping.
  • I love to shop.
  • I own 100 CDs or more.
  • I own and use a library card.
  • I read books for pleasure in my spare time.
  • I sleep a lot during the day.
  • I watch soap operas on a regular basis. 
  • I work at a job that I enjoy.
  • I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free of cost, and scar-free.
  • I am currently wearing socks.
  • I am tired.
  • I love to paint/draw/sketch/sculpt.
  • I consume at least one alcoholic drink every month.

I have/had:

  • Graduated high school.
  • Smoked cigarettes. 
  • Ridden every ride at an amusement park.
  • Collected something really stupid.
  • Gone to a concert.
  • Helped someone.
  • Spun turn tables.
  • Watched four movies in one night.
  • Been broken up with.
  • Been in a car accident.
  • Been in a tornado.
  • Watched someone die.
  • Been to a funeral.
  • Burned yourself.
  • Ran a marathon.
  • Your parents got divorced.
  • Cried yourself to sleep.
  • Spent over $200 in one day.
  • Cheated on someone.
  • Been cheated on.
  • Written a 10 page letter.
  • Had a best friend.
  • Lost someone you loved.
  • Skipped school.
  • Gotten in trouble for something you didn’t do.
  • Stolen books from the library.
  • Been in a mental hospital.
  • Watched the “Harry Potter” movies.
  • Fired a gun.
  • Been in a school play.
  • Been fired from a job.
  • Taken a lie detector test.
  • Swam with dolphins.
  • Attempted suicide.
  • Written poetry.
  • Read more than 20 books a year.
  • Gone to Europe/live there.
  • Loved someone you couldn’t have.
  • Used a coloring book over age 12.
  • Had surgery.
  • Had stitches.
  • Taken a taxi.
  • Had more than 5 online conversations going at once.
  • Had a hamster.
  • Dyed your hair.
  • Had something pierced.
  • Gotten straight A’s.
  • Your parents sent you to a shrink. 
  • Been handcuffed.

My hair is naturally the color:

  • Light brown
  • Medium brown
  • Dark brown
  • Blonde
  • Black
  • Dirty blonde
  • Strawberry blonde/Ginger
  • Multicoloured

My eyes are:

  • Brown
  • Blue
  • Grey
  • Green
  • Hazel
  • Light brown
  • A combination of things

I am:

  • Male
  • Female
  • Other

People sometimes label me as:

  • Slut
  • Girly
  • Ugly
  • Nerd 
  • Other 

Some of my biggest fears are:

  • Spiders/other insects
  • Dying 
  • Doctor/Dentist appointments
  • Hospitals
  • Needles
  • Disease
  • Being alone in the dark
  • Heights
  • Small spaces
  • Oceans/large bodies of water
  • Holes
  • Large animals
  • Small animals
  • Open spaces
  • Lightning

I have:

  • A friend with benefits
  • A laptop in my room
  • A television in my room
  • Good grades 
  • My own car
  • Married parents