Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Hard Luck Love Song - Movie Review

The Movie: Hard Luck Love Song

The Director: Justin Corsbie

The Cast: Michael Dorman, Sophia Bush, Dermot Mulroney, RZA, Brian Sacca, Eric Roberts, Melora Walters, Max Arciniega, Randal Reeder, Taylor Gray, Geri Courtney-Austein, Toni Robison-May, Zac Badasci

The Story: A gritty love story about a charismatic but down-on-his-luck troubadour living out of cheap motels and making bad decisions.

The Review:
This movie plays out just like a classic country Western song, as it should since the story is actually based off of  "Just Like Old Times", a song by Portland, Oregon native Todd Snider. If you know the song then you'll recognize everything Snider sings about as it comes up in the movie, sometimes word for word in the dialog which I thought was pretty cool. This is also Justin Corsbie's debut feature narrative film as a director which is impressive considering how polished it looks and how well the story is fleshed out.

The cast is also very impressive as Michael Dorman leads the way with a performance that is engaging, likable, and just a pleasure to watch, even as his character Jesse makes some horribly bad decisions, which happens a lot. I guess that's what happens when the character is derived from a country song. Sophia Bush is also in top form as Jesse's ex-girlfriend Carla, a woman who also has a history of bad decisions so of course the two are probably meant to be together. If it wasn't for all their bad decisions.

I think the one area this movie needs a little help is in the editing department as the story for what it is doesn't justify the 104 minutes run time. There are a few beats that end up being repetitive or too drawn out in the storytelling which, if trimmed down, could lead to a more seamless experience. This is a minor issue for me as I still feel like the overall product is solid and stays focused on Dorman which was absolutely the right move.

The Verdict:
Hard Luck Love Song hits all the right notes as a modern Western and features great work from Michael Dorman who will hustle his way into the hearts of anyone who watches this pitch perfect performance.

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