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‘Hard Luck Love Song’ Review – The Hollywood Reporter

The most effective nation songs are easy, direct and unpretentious. The identical might be stated of Justin Corsbie’s function debut, primarily based not on a guide or a play however relatively a track: Todd Snider’s “Simply Like Outdated Occasions.” The story of a wandering troubadour by dependancy, playing and romantic issues, Exhausting Luck Love Tune comes throughout like, nicely, a film primarily based on a rustic track. Not that there’s something incorrect with that, however don’t anticipate one thing notably revelatory.

That the movie proves engrossing all through is due largely to Michael Dorman (For All Mankind), within the central position of Jesse. The New Zealand-born actor, adopting an efficient American accent, proves a charismatic presence because the kind of scruffily good-looking, guitar-playing dangerous boy for whom girls could be keen to desert all frequent sense. Early within the movie, he establishes his insurgent bona fides when, throughout a clumsy ordering session at a diner, he tells his waitress to “maintain the rooster salad.” The uncomprehending server doesn’t acknowledge the reference to 5 Simple Items, however cineastes positive will.

Exhausting Luck Love Tune

The Backside Line

A well-recognized tune, however straightforward to take heed to.

Launch date: Friday, Oct. 15

Forged: Michael Dorman, Sophia Bush, Dermot Mulroney, RZA, Eric Roberts, Melora Walters, Brian Sacca

Director: Justin Corsbie

Screenwriters: Justin Corsbie, Craig Ugoretz


Rated R,
1 hour 44 minutes

It’s additionally made clear early on that Jesse has a coronary heart of gold. Shortly after arriving in a dusty city along with his arm in a forged (not a harbinger of excellent issues to return), he finds a $100 invoice on the road. After shopping for himself cigarettes and a bottle of high quality booze, he makes positive to provide a hefty handout to a vagrant, accompanied by a reassuring hug.

Jesse augments his meager singer-songwriter revenue as a pool hustler, his aw-shucks demeanor successfully fooling his marks. However he picks the incorrect sufferer within the type of Rollo (a scary Dermot Mulroney, successfully leaving his romantic comedy main man picture behind), who makes clear his emotions concerning the matter. “I don’t like getting hustled,” Rollo tells him. “And issues that I don’t like wind up in a gap within the fucking desert.”

Jesse barely escapes along with his life, but when he did the wise factor, like instantly leaving city, the screenwriters could be hard-pressed to provide you with a suspenseful conclusion. As a substitute, he hangs round at an inexpensive motel, and reunites along with his former girlfriend Carla (Sophia Bush), now working as a prostitute. The 2 share a tense however affectionate reunion fueled by mezcal and cocaine earlier than heading to a neighborhood bar, the place Jesse meets a number of of her pals, together with the protecting Skip (Eric Roberts, persevering with his record-breaking pursuit of showing in additional films than any actor alive). Jesse finally has a violent run-in with Rollo and his gang, in addition to Carla’s pimp (RZA), who doesn’t need to lose his meal ticket.

The movie hews carefully to the lyrics in Snider’s track, and even when it deviates, the dialogue feels like one thing you’d hear on nation radio. Requested to speak about himself, Skip begins by saying “I used to be born in a Mexican whorehouse,” and you end up ready for the metal guitar to chime in.

As with many nation songs, the story feels terribly acquainted. However director/co-screenwriter Corsbie, who grew up in Austin (he was “born in an unairconditioned home,” we’re knowledgeable within the manufacturing notes), clearly is aware of the milieu. The movie, a lot of which takes place in smoke-filled pool-hall juke joints, boasts seedy environment to spare. You’ll be able to virtually odor a budget beer and cigarettes whereas watching it. One other plus is the terrific Americana soundtrack, culminating with an onscreen efficiency by Snider of the track that impressed the movie. The droll lyrics play like a wittily deadpan musical recap of what we’ve simply seen.

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