Rose Byrne and Ethan Hawke’s colourful chemistry brings life to this charming romantic comedy.
Superfan Duncan (Chris O’Dowd) and his crazed obsession with once-famous rocker Tucker Crowe has driven girlfriend Annie to distraction. Leader of a select online community of devoted Crowe losers, he is blissfully unaware of the couple’s growing estrangement.
Out of the blue, Duncan receives a package in the mail with a hashed-up demo of unheard studio recordings entitled “Juliet, Naked.” These new songs become a pathos for Duncan, but they’re quite the opposite for Annie, for whom Crowe and his music is torture. After she writes a harsh critique on her boyfriend’s fan site, Annie receives a private message from Crowe himself and, unbeknownst to Duncan, they strike up an instantaneous, if unlikely, cross-Atlantic email relationship. Bingo!
Hawke has been a tough actor to pin down throughout. This is a pure movie star turn, and he’s never been more magnetic (or just less irritating). Byrne is wonderful as the kind-hearted, but melancholy Annie, and O’Dowd is fab as always. It’s an unashamedly feel-good flick, but it’s just imperfect enough not to feel like a cheat. (Research Chris Coetsee) All this time, then two movie stars-cum-singer-songwriters, turn up at once!