The Music Never Stopped Trailer: J.K. Simmons Wants You to Turn Down that Racket
Aw man, another movie about some guy who gets a brain tumor only to be nursed back to his former self through music by Bob Dylan and the Grateful Dead? Okay fine, we have probably actually never seen this plot in a Sundance Dramedy, but by the end of the trailer for The Music Never Stops it's pretty clear that this is just a backdrop for an father (J.K. Simmons) reconnecting with his estranged son (Lou Taylor Pucci), which might explain why it all feels so familiar.
Here, Simmons must overcome the fact that music therapy involving the 60's music (and related counter-culture) that alienated him from his son are Pucci's only hope of returning to his former self. Trailer spoiler: He manages to overcome this.
Unabashedly sentimental trailers like this one are hard to judge. sometimes the sincerity and performances overpower the schmaltz and make for genuinely feel-good melodrama, which is always welcome in this era of irony and cynicism. Other times, you end up with Patch Adams. Performance-wise, this film looks promising. It's always great to see famed character actor Simmons in a leading role, and support from Pucci and the under-used Julia Ormond only sweeten the deal. Visually though, the film looks barely a notch above a Lifetime movie, and the reliance on music that's practically guaranteed to induce nostalgia seems pretty lazy in terms of cinema, though the film was inspired by an actual medical case study from the writer of Awakenings.
Since "maybe" verdicts are no fun, I went ahead and peeked at several Sundance reviews. Personal tolerance for sentiment might dictate your verdict, from what I'm gathering, the performances here indeed make up for the easy nostalgia.
Verdict: Okay, sold.