Directed : Jesse Peretz
Writer: Evgenia Peretz, Jim Taylor, Tamara Jenkins (Screenwriters) Nick Hornby (novel)
Starring: Rose Byrne, Ethan Hawke, Chris O’Dowd
Tagline: What if you met the man of your man’s dream?
Trivia: Nick Hornby (author of the novel) can be seen standing next to Rose Byrne in the museum scene where Tucker Crowe plays Waterloo Sunset.
I like goofy rom-com, but lately it’s hard to come by one that would satisfy both my romantic soul and my intellectual self. This has become harder since I’ve been into writing screenplays and I look at movies with a different eye. So, when once in a while I get to watch a funny, warm and smart one it’s a night to celebrate.
Although the title says Juliet, Naked, there is no-one by the name of Juliet in the movie or a naked body, which in these days, is a refreshing occasion.
Juliet, Naked, is a movie about second chances, hope, and redemption from a life of missed opportunities, loneliness and boredom.
Annie (Rose Byren) is in a lifeless relationship with her obnoxious boyfriend Duncan (Chris O’Dowd). She still dreams of life that is more than what she ended up with, but has no idea of how to go around in making such a life for herself.
When her self-centered boyfriend gets a pirate recording of his idol, Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), a reclusive rocker for over 20 years, she listens to it and posts a negative review of it on Duncan’s fan website, which infuriates Duncan. To her surprise she gets a comment that her review was the correct one from no other than Tucker Crowe himself.
That’s how Annie starts a secret email relationship with no other than her boyfriend’s dream man. No one could be as different to Tucker Crowe as Annie is. She’s all about being sensible and doing the right thing, while Tucker is all about anti establishment and running away from responsibilities. But just like in any other rom-com this is what makes those two intriguing characters connect.
While Annie is wasting her years in a sleepy seaside town running a museum that she inherited from her father, on the other side of the ocean, Tucker Crowe comes to terms with the consequences of his missed youth. He lives in a garage of one of his ex-wives and needs to deal with his family responsibilities (or lack of them) to his too many children from various women who hate him today.
Annie dreams on having a child, but is scared of taking that step on her own, while Tucker is trying hard to redeem himself by being a father to his latest child, Jackson.
The movie gives a humorous look at the whole fan industry and the pompous position many critics and fans put themselves when talking about their idol. Chris O’Dowe is giving a great performance of the obsessive music fan who thinks he knows everything about his idol, Tucker Crowe, while knowing nothing really how the man experiences his own work.
Duncan is a poster child for the typical man who is not listening to his girlfriend and presumes knows better than her on anything. Chris O’Dowe is doing a fantastic job in portraying this character without losing the favor of the audience; we all pity him in the end.
I couldn’t think of anyone better than Ethan Hawke to play Tucker Crowe, as the aging rocker who most of his life was dushbag, and now is trying to clean up his act. Ethan Hawke is able to play this character and still make him loveable and we end up rooting for him to get his second chance of happiness. But above all it’s Rose Byrne who is leading this movie with fantastic performance which gives this movie it’s charm.
Even though this movie is about the usual heavy topics that Nick Hornby writes about – loneliness, wasted years and disillusion, Jesse Peretz manages to keep this movie light and quirky and allows us to leave at the end of the movie with hope in our heart. What else can we ask for.