“Sing Street”: When impressing a crush goes too far

p9-shoji-sing-a-20160714Rosemary Schweitzer | schwe035@rangers.uwp.edu

The ‘80s was a strange time. A time of perms and neon clothing, but for our purposes today, we will focus on the really good music: Duran Duran, Michael Jackson, The Police, Bon Jovi, a-ha, Bowie, Queen and Madonna to just barely scratch the surface. “Sing Street”, the 2016 romance/drama film out of Ireland, on the other hand, was not satisfied to just scratch the surface.

The basics

The film centers around a ragtag band of teens attending Synge Street Christian Brothers School in Dublin, led by Conor Lawlor. Conor’s parents are constantly fighting, and when the family falls on hard times, it is Conor’s education that suffers. Plucked from his reputable and expensive school, the fifteen year old was sent to Synge Street, where the strict Brother Baxter and a number of bullies make each school day a nightmare.

We have all been there
Having only made one friend in his first week, Conor’s attention is drawn by a mysterious beauty across the street from his school. So what does our young Lawlor do? He tries to impress her, of course. How does he try to impress her? By asking her to be in a music video for his band, obviously. So he has the girl for his band’s music video, great. Now all he needs is a band!
Sing Street is something of a departure from the other movies in UW-Parkside’s foreign film series with its quick and witty dialog, sardonic characters, and up-beat soundtrack. If Aquarius, Things to Come, or The Salesman were not quite your cup of tea, give this one a try. Sing Street roused audiences with four awards for best original song, two for best use of music in a film, one for best actor in a supporting role, and best overlooked film of the year. Add a Golden Globe nomination for Best Motion Picture (musical or comedy) to that and a thirty eight other nominations, it could not be a terrible movie.

Still not convinced? Jeez
Director John Carney explores the relationships between siblings, parents, friends and crushes in this stellar coming of age story. Now, I am not afraid to admit that I am a little sick of coming-of-age stories, with their profound teenagers and overused clichés, but Carney manages to put an original spin on the typical story that is so relatable. We have all wanted to impress our crushes, we have all had fights with our family, we have all wanted to be original, and at some point, we have all wanted to run away and abandon our lives. Sing Street encapsulates this in a one hour and forty five minute morsel that, at the very least, left me craving more. If you missed it at UW-Parkside, check it out on Netflix or your local library because, if you are anything like me, you will not regret it.

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