In the novel adaptation JULIET, NAKED Chris O’Dowd becomes an absolute superfan of a long-forgotten singer and risks his relationship because of it. But suddenly the story takes an unexpected turn… We’ll reveal more about this in our review.
The Plot Summary
Tucker Crowe: The name of the mysterious rock star is the only thing that still creates fuel in the passionless relationship of Annie (Rose Byrne) and Duncan (Chris O’Dowd). It’s been 25 years since the celebrated musician (Ethan Hawke) released his last record “Juliet”. In contrast to the fanatical Tucker Crowe fan Duncan, who collects everything about the musician, is passionately involved in fan forums and is completely beside himself when he suddenly comes across a new collection of songs by his great idol, Annie rips exactly this album ” Juliet, Naked” in the online forum of which her husband is the chairman – and she suddenly receives mail from Tucker Crowe himself, who wants nothing more than to get to know Annie…
Movie explanation of the ending
Fandom can sometimes reach bizarre proportions, especially in adolescence. People camp out for days before a concert, write love letters to the adored pop star and memorize lyrics ad nauseam. This usually occurs in adulthood; but bestselling author Nick Hornby (“Brooklyn”) wanted to complete the idea that a grown man cannot break away from his love for a singer, even though he has long passed thirty. He has already discussed something similar in his novels “High Fidelity” and “Fever Pitch” and has never ventured into overly psychologizing territory. Nick Hornby’s novels are rather light fare, even if they usually vary very skillfully between the comedy and drama genres. In the novel “Juliet, Naked,” published in 2009, the exaggerated fan love of a music obsessive only has a limited impact on the fan or the star itself. This time it’s all about how those around him deal with it, or more precisely: the girlfriend, who has had to take a back seat to her partner’s pathological passion for music since the beginning of the relationship. The result of this experimental arrangement is a heartfelt tragicomedy far away from common feel-good conventions that dares to take narrative turns without moving away from its feel-good attitude. A film with character.
Juliet (Rose Byrne) and Tucker (Ethan Hawke) stumble upon the unsuspecting Duncan (Chris O’Dowd) on the beach.
Director Jesse Peretz (“New Girl”) True to the book, it throws the viewer straight into the action. Right from the start we learn how Duncan obsessively collects every little scrap of newspaper about his idol, how he passionately leads an online forum with similarly fanatical Tucker Crowe lovers and demands exactly the same interest in his hobby from his girlfriend. The first curious thing about the matter: Tucker Crowe is not a hot newcomer, but a singer-songwriter who hasn’t released any new songs for ages and has, so to speak, disappeared into obscurity. This makes Duncan’s dogged fanaticism appear two or three dimensions larger than it already is. But he never seems really dangerous and delusional; Also not because personal contact with Crowe or stalking or other ways of lying in wait are simply not possible for him if no one knows where the musician is anyway. Duncan’s fan love is primarily funny to watch, but never makes the viewer feel really uncomfortable; Duncan is just not a psycho (yet). Under these conditions, “Juliet, Naked” fully lives up to its character as a comedy. It would have left you with a bad feeling if you had had to show solidarity with a stalker or something like that.
The main thing that ensures that Duncan doesn’t become a laughing stock is Chris O’Dowd (“Molly’s Game”) Thanks to. The Irish-born actor plays the uninhibited Tucker Crowe lover with passion, but without letting his character tip into caricature. Duncan has simply lost control of being a fan; It’s not malicious, but it’s not explicitly aimed at brutal gags either. It’s just extremely entertaining to watch Duncan find something that isn’t really normal completely normal. And Rose Byrne (“Spy – Susan Cooper Undercover”) stands by as an identification figure, just as disbelieving as the audience. Even if at the beginning you are inclined to feel pity for the neglected woman, not only does the story quickly develop into the absolute opposite of a “a woman finally learns to stand up for her needs” story, Byrne also moves out of her situation very quickly more passive role. With the panning of the Crowe album, for which she of all people receives an appreciative email from the artist himself, the development of an enchanting screen friendship begins, which is remarkably uncomplicated in itself, but is repeatedly disrupted in its development by small problems on the sidelines . And that is sometimes funny, sometimes tragic, but usually both at the same time.
What will the future hold for these two?
While Duncan’s constant praise builds up an immense expectation of what kind of godlike man might be behind the ominous name Tucker Crowe, Ethan Hawke delivers (“The glory seven”) a remarkably reserved performance that amounts to an understatement, but still has a nuance of old rock that has always remained a bit childish to this day. While over time the (also amorous) rapprochement between Annie and Tucker becomes more and more in focus, the film also deals with completely different problems on the sidelines, although it doesn’t always go into enough detail. Whether it’s the difficult relationship with his children or unresolved traumas from the past: especially towards the end, many of the themes hinted at receive inadequate resolution. However, this never becomes too big of a problem. Jesse Peretz never makes a secret of the fact that his film is primarily intended to be fun (also thanks to the very atmospheric, light-filled images from “A Whole Six Months” cameraman Remi Adefarasin). And if he also manages to not always take the easiest narrative path and here and there even actively go against the RomCom cliché, then “Juliet, Naked” is not only required, but also free.
Conclusion: The tragicomedy “Juliet, Naked”, based on the novel of the same name by Nick Hornby, deals in a very humorous way with what happens when fandom gets out of control. A light-footed, narratively hooked and strongly acted feel-good film that only loses a little of its substance towards the end, when it suddenly wants to do a little more than just entertain.
“Juliet, Naked” can be seen in selected USA cinemas from November 15th.