Parents' Guide to

Juliet, Naked

By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Strong language in slight but effective tale of music, love.

Movie R 2018 105 minutes
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Based on a novel by Nick Hornby, this romantic drama is slight and narrow in scope, but its performers are dedicated, and its passions run deep. Older viewers who remember falling in love with an album well before the days of MP3s and streaming music services will identify with these lovable misfits, who approach High Fidelity-level music-nerd territory. Juliet, Naked isn't a story of dreams coming true but of learning to let go of the past -- or perhaps learning which parts of the past to let go of. The movie gets points for humanizing its rock 'n' roll star and for Hawke's all-too-human portrayal of him. Tucker is a mess, and the links between his music and his mistakes are easy to see.

Juliet, Naked also creates, in its margins, a roster of younger characters who are coming of age in this weird, complicated world. This movie doesn't simply take place in a vacuum, focused on its three main characters. It exists in a world in which consequences ring far and wide. The music is, of course, important for holding everything together, and a sequence in which Tucker performs The Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset" is a true beauty. Jesse Peretz directs with a surprising non-slapsticky softness of touch, similar to his work in the wonderful Our Idiot Brother, and the screenplay is co-written by such humanists as filmmaker Tamara Jenkins (The Savages) and Oscar-winner Jim Taylor (Sideways).

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