SING NOW (OR FOREVER HOLD YOUR PEACE)
Sex-part disharmony and tenuous commitments
PopcornReel.com EARLY Movie Review: "Sing Now (Or Forever Hold Your Peace)"
By Omar P.L. Moore/April 22, 2007 -- the film opens this Friday (April 27) in
select U.S. cities
Six-part harmony with the ladies? Samrat Chakrabarti (a real-life a
cappella singer), Chris Bowers, Alexander Chaplin, David Harbour, Mark
Feuerstein and Reg Rogers, male cast members of "Sing Now (Or Forever Hold Your
Peace)", which opens in New York, Pasadena, Cambridge, Santa Monica and other
select American cities on Friday. (Photo: Strand Releasing)
Originally entitled "Shut Up And Sing" (the title was presumably
changed to avoid repeating the title that was given to last year's documentary
on The Dixie Chicks), "Sing Now (Or Forever Hold Your Peace)" is an apt
description of a sex comedy that is cute to the core, with some genuinely funny
moments. Bruce Leddy's film, which opens this Friday in New York and other
select American cities features an ensemble cast, each of whom stands out, but
most especially Molly Shannon, who is on something of a hot streak lately with
the initial release on April 13 in New York of "Year Of The Dog" in her role as
Peggy, a lonely dog-mother. In Mr. Leddy's film, which is set in the tony
enclave of Long Island's Hamptons, Shannon plays Trish, the vibrant,
free-spirited wife of Ted, an uptight business man (played by Alexander Chaplin)
whom she challenges to loosen up and relax. Her husband is part of a group
of six men who had been singing a cappella together in college.
Now the group of men has moved into their mid and late-30's. Some are
married, some are not, and whether married or not all have their problems,
difficulties and anxieties with women. One man, not-accidentally named
Spooner (Chris Bowers) has his sexual prowess imprinted within the women he
liaisons with, and another fantasizes about making whoopee with the Swedish
nanny Elsa (Camilla Thorsson) of his friends, and another is worried that he
isn't the man he used to be.
After 15 years the men have reunited around one of their friend's upcoming
weddings. The men look at their reunion and assess their lives, not only
through the relationships they have (or don't have) with women, but also with
themselves. And when it comes down to it, when the men are in a "jam" with
the opposite sex, count on their six voices to help them through.
"Sing Now" is one of those comedies that would translate very well on to the
stage as a Broadway play but more likely a musical. It is bawdy,
rambunctious, amusing and free-flowing and very uninhibited without being more
racy and erotic than it already is. "Sing Now", to be released this
Friday, April 27, in New York and several other American cities including
Cambridge and Santa Monica, has many characters and occasionally each one of
them has something funny, salacious or irreverent to say. Constantly
animated, the characters have the quirks that the material written by Mr. Leddy
has more than enough room to flaunt. The actors respectively have the
enthusiasm and fun with the script and effortlessly affect the tone of the film,
which is largely sunny aside from its one or two melodramatic moments.
The film isn't a profound piece of work -- it doesn't try to be anything other
than what it is -- a comedy that just wants to have fun, and not work hard to
get laughs. It doesn't have to. At its core, beneath its oddball
moments and quirky characters there is an underlying sense of loneliness within
some of the men, particularly David (David Harbour), who is married, but
wondered whether he made the right choice. For him the reunion with his
college a cappella buddies is a chance to reevaluate his life.
"Sing Now" has charm and good music, including covers of such songs as the
brilliant tunes "Take Me Home" (Phil Collins) and "No Such Thing" (John Mayer).
There is also in-jokes about the 1980's song "Kyrie", which the film's
All in all, "Sing Now (Or Forever Hold Your Peace)" is a joyous, and sunny
experience. It does not try to be "The Big Chill", even if there may be
aspects of it that may resemble that film. "Sing Now" never tries to be as
self-important. Lawrence Kasdan's film was weightier and deeper and
explosive, and was not a comedy. But Mr. Leddy's film radiates with life,
and in the next few weeks when blockbuster films will be filled with action,
loud explosions and violence, "Sing Now" will be a relaxing departure.
Some of the ladies in question: Molly Shannon as the unexpurgated Trish, and
Rosemarie Dewitt as Dana, in Bruce Leddy's sex comedy "Sing Now (Or Forever Hold
Your Peace)." The film opens this Friday, April 27 in select American
"Sing Now (Or Forever Hold Your Peace)" is not rated by the
Motion Picture Association of America. The duration of the film is one
hour and 34 minutes, and contains sexual content, sensuality, language and
violence. The cast also includes Elizabeth Reaser (who appeared in
"Puccini For Beginners" earlier this year), David Alan Basche and Liz Stauber.
Again, the film opens on Friday in New York, Montclair, Roslyn, Irvine, Beverly
Hills, Pasadena, Cambridge and White Plains.
Copyright The Popcorn Reel. PopcornReel.com. 2007. All Rights