Love & Mercy


Another musical movie that dictates a well-known band from our past and encourages us to look up their music and download it because until we heard it on the big screen we forgot how good it was! That’s what we get with Love & Mercy the inside story of The Beach Boy’s Brian Wilson, his struggles and genius for coming up with the lyrics and sound of the boy band that we still love to this day.

In this film we have two stories one telling of Brian’s past and the other telling his future. Young Brian Wilson is played by Paul Dano (12 Years a Slave, For Ellen, Cowboys and Aliens) back in the early 1960’s when the Beach Boys were still larger than life. After a mental breakdown on a plane for a gig Brian asks his band mates to continue touring without him while he continues to make their music. He seals the deal with a promise that when they return, he will have new and better music for them. From here we witness his strange yet fascinating approach to creating the band’s sound as well as the mental turmoil that haunted him whilst at the same time helped create the lyrics in his head.

Flash forward to the mid 80’s we have the older Brian Wilson played by John Cusack (1408, The Prince, Being John Malkovich) trying to buy a car from Melinda Ledbetter played by, the seemingly everywhere now, Elizabeth Bank’s (Every Secret Thing, Our Idiot Brother, The Uninvited). Here we get the real life, sweet but strange, love story that transpires between the two. Which, despite all of Brian’s past hardship’s might just work out, that is if Brian’s controlling Doctor Eugene Landy; Paul Giamatti (All Is Bright, Big Fat Liar, Win Win) doesn’t get in their way.

These two stories intertwine with each other quite brilliantly. With both we’re continuously wondering what’s going to happen and wishing for the best for both Young Brian and adult Brian. It was actually a little bit frustrating when you became invested in one story only for it to switch to the other and back again continuously. But it was done in a good way. You still wanted to know that the past and the future Brian were going to come out okay. Nothing in the movie annoyed me tremendously, but there were some discrepancies I had with the film. Such as how Brian and Melinda had a love at first sight type of going on. Their very first conversation is so awkward there is no way a woman would fall for a guy instantly with a guy that strange. Yet somehow it seemed to work for her. Hey, to each their own. My next problem is the ending which left me unsatisfied. It was left open like much more could have happened, should have happened. Where was Brian’s family when he was older? I think the film would’ve ended on a better note had they had been involved. But, whatever, that’s just my opinion.

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, drug content and language.

Rotten Tomatoes has this beautiful film at a 87% fresh! How awesome is that?

To have made a film as good as this one, you can just tell that, director Bill Pohlad is a huge Beach Boy’s fan. It was great. My friend who went with me did input that the title should instead be ‘Love & Depressing’ which I did agree with him on that. Not on the title, but the fact that it is not a happy sunshine film. If you want that feel good comedy there’s some great stuff out there but this isn’t it. However if you’re looking for that inspirational romance, which offers a loving tribute to a great songwriter and the music which influenced millions. This is it.