Beautiful singing by Amy Adams, but a painful movie
Steve Kuehl | Ben Lomond, CA | 12/07/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"A quick summary would be to watch this for Amy Adams, but since she does not get a speaking line until 16 minutes in (her first actual scene flashes by with no lines), and then her singing sounds dubbed (yet still beautiful) one could be wary of this title. It played well in the store if I left it on a chapter repeat where she sings, but I lost every single potential rental when anyone else was "acting" or some other scene was taking place.
The story follows some corporate/financial guy as he grinds through work in the day and plays the piano/sings by night. He happens to come across a beautiful lady who can sing and their paths become entangled - tangled in horrible writing, atrocious supporting acting, bad sets, poor sound, dimly lit interiors, etc. Writing issues: One scene shows our horribly single main guy in a bar getting hit on by Moon Bloodgood (who looked phenomenal as always - a very short role) but he turns her down for no reason - they could not even write one (what guy would ever turn her down??). Any scene that involves his workplace had customers laughing as they watched it - it looked like a stage play with flubbed lines and bad re-takes. Another scene with Amy singing has her hiding in the street shadows and when you can briefly see her the words do not match, and the list goes on.
The sound is average to poor, the picture quality is fine to average - but fake when the moon pictures flash by. The story was either trying to fit in as a musical/romance or a bad time at work film, neither worked on their own, but some of her singing was outstanding. No special features so 2 stars for her singing and zero for everything else."
The things we do for love
L. Power | San Francisco | 01/18/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you like Amy Adams, you'll probably like this movie. If you like Jazz, particularly some of the standards, you'll probably quite enjoy this movie.
This movie was made in 2006, yet not released till now. In the meantime, lead actress Amy Adams has rightly become a huge star, getting Academy Award nominations for Junebug and Doubt, and having a huge hit with Enchanted (Full Screen Edition). I just saw Leap Year which is worth a look.
Moonlight Serenade has flaws, it's a B movie with an A actress. The music mostly, by Jazz virtuoso, Alex deFrancesco is absolutely excellent, and excellently performed by Amy Adams, who has a recording artist quality voice. Her main costar, Alec Watson resembles a young Sinatra in appearance. He has looks and charisma. I think he is a promising actor.
What I found lacking in the movie was not the acting, but the underdeveloped storyline, and the basic unbelievability of the characters behavior. Are we supposed to believe that a financial wizard would totally rethink his successful business strategy of selling short, and risk his career because he met a coatcheck girl, and aspiring singer. Are we supposed to believe that a narcissistic druggie boyfriend would suddenly act in his girlfriend's best interest. Are we supposed to believe that she, Chloe, would struggle to meet the piano player big Frank for an audition at a different club when they both already work in the same club. Why not just audition before the club opens? With some better direction the scenes could have played a little better, and the story could have been improved.
About halfway through this movie decides it's a musical, when the non musician played by Harriet Sansom Harris, (you may remember her as the ruthless agent on Frasier), suddenly and for no apparent reason bursts into song. This was disconcerting.
Other than that, I did enjoy the movie, in fact I watched it again. Safe to say Amy Adams will not be most remembered for this movie, yet this movie will be most remembered for Amy Adams. I though the best scene was at the end in the spotlight. Some people just shine in the spotlight, and belong there. Hope this was useful."
Terrible but nice
Steve H | Southern California | 12/23/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First off, this is really a pretty bad movie. The acting isn't much, the music isn't very good, and in some places it just drags on past the point where a compassionate viewer would have put it out of its misery. One of the two leads is supposed to be a jazz pianist, but you never see his hands on the keys; it's one of those deals where it's always shot from an angle where you see him from the chest up as he sits on the piano bench and kind of sways in time with the music, pretending to play. That kind of thing.
BUT! The thing is, it's so EARNEST and the characters are so NICE and it REALLY TRIES HARD. So, even as I sat there thinking "Oh lordy" I kept on watching it all the way to the end, with only the least little bit of fast-forwarding.
If you're the sort of person who goes shopping for a Christmas tree, and instead of picking the biggest, most buxom one on the lot, instead goes for something a little on the scrawny side because you kind of feel sorry for it and are afraid if you don't buy it, nobody else will, this is the movie for you and I guarantee you'll love it. Otherwise, well, ya takes yer chances."