Parents' Guide to

Unfinished Song

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Sweet dramedy about illness has intense, emotional moments.

Movie PG-13 2013 93 minutes
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Don't expect UNFINISHED SONG to forge new paths to its heartwarming and heartbreaking ending. Movies of this type -- about how loss and a deep sense of mortality can change your life, and you -- have been around for ages. But, oh, what a sweet addition to the subgenre it is, even if the basic premise -- how music shapes a cancer-stricken woman and her husband in profound ways -- isn't exactly original. Its plot points can easily be mapped, because we've seen them all before.

Still, it's hard to argue with the life force that is Redgrave, who meets her match in Stamp's maddening but endearing Arthur. Arterton borders on treacly, but she's charming anyway (and, besides, treacly fits her character). Even though the premise -- seniors learn to loosen up by singing pop songs -- isn't wholly new (the documentary, Young @ Heart covers this ground quite well) and everything feels slightly gimmicky because the seniors are painted with broad strokes, it's still worth it. UNFINISHED SONG is moving and affecting, albeit more of a ditty than a substantial song that will last through the ages.

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