Sunday In The Park, At The Movies…

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My first weekend back in Los Angeles. The weather is stellar and we are up and out early. It’s all about Santa Monica, the beach and Sunday In The Park with Madison (George is so yesterday).

Weekend’s in Los Angeles play out very differently than in New York City. In Manhattan we are always on the hunt  for the next interesting restaurant, fashion forward store, Broadway show, museum exhibition, early morning Central Park ramblings or bike path excursions.

Great dining in Santa Monica is an oxymoron. Theater is Los Angeles is limited, museums are generally uninspired so it is all about the weather and activities in the great outdoors.

In Santa Monica in the summer your mode of transportation are your feet…biking is risky business and driving is out of the question. Everyone migrates to the Santa Monica Pier, Promenade and beaches. The traffic is worse than rush hour on the Long Island Expressway.

Santa Monica Promenade
Santa Monica Promenade

We walked miles with the doggie, shopped the Promenade, dined outside locally, and went at an off-peak hour to see the newly released movie, Begin Again. The movie Gods were shining down on us and we were treated to an empty theater.

Begin-Again

I really enjoyed the film which has been flippantly reviewed, but I think critics are reticent to endorse a simple, lovely film that just is what it is…no pretense just a movie filled with joy, possibilities and musicality.

John Carney of Once fame, wrote and directed the movie with original music co-written by New Radicals frontman, Gregg Alexander. The songs are quite serviceable and who knew Knightley possessed such a sweet singing voice.

The film carries on a visual love affair with NYC and makes me yearn to be back there.

Keira Knightley, Haileee Steinfeld, Mark Ruffalo
Keira Knightley, Haileee Steinfeld, Mark Ruffalo

One of my favorite moments is when Gretta (Knightley) and Dan (Ruffalo) have traversed the city jointly plugged into a single ipod and they finally succumb close to dawn and plop down in Union Square.

Dan says that the great thing about music is that a fabulous track takes a banal moment and turns it into a memorable one…that is the power and pull of a great tune.

Keira Knightley, Adam Levine
Keira Knightley, Adam Levine

Keira Knightley and the ramshackle, Mark Ruffalo, are charming and their characters ring true. James Corden (Steve) portrays, as always, a delightful character. He was amazing on Broadway in, One Man, Two Guvnors. Hailee Steinfeld (Violet) is impressive, playing a confused teenager. Adam Levine (Dave) is great at being Adam Levine…dialogue is what proves a bit challenging. CeeLo Green gives a beguiling performance as a major hip hop star.

The movie brought me back to the glory days of the music biz and made me teary thinking about all the amazing times hangin’ with great talent, partaking in their spontaneous jams, witness the writing (Billy Idol wrote White Wedding in my office) or talking music. It was earthy, real, sincere. The moments and memories are genuine.

I was a vibrant part of the team who created superstars and many deserve the fame and fortune. I am humbled by the time I spent with these talented musicians and artists like Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie, Billy Idol and Steve Stevens, Huey Lewis, Jimmie Vaughan and Kim Wilson of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jethro Tull’s Ian Anderson, Pat Benatar and Neil Geraldo, Michael and Janet Jackson, Michael Hutchence and the Farriss brothers of INXS, Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley and Martin and Gary Kemp …the list goes on.

 The movie really touched me and if I were you, I would ignore the reviewers laissez-faire attitude and go see, Begin Again (running time 1 Hour 41 minutes) and immerse yourself in a lovely, engaging experience.

And it’s Monday already…let’s get the weekly party started…

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