Still Crazy review

From The Beatles to Oasis, each decade can boast half a dozen stadium-filler Brit bands. Strange then that there's been barely a single decent rock group-based film, let alone a British one. There have been pseudo-documentaries like A Hard Day's Night, not to mention attempts by various musos to cross over into film. But bar David Essex duo That'll Be The Day and Stardust, not one has succeeded in capturing the glory (and terribleness) of rock excesses.

Still Crazy fills that gap, and is also very, very funny. Despite the familiar cast, this is an ensemble piece, with no scene-stealing performances because everybody is so good. From Spall's drunken, belching drummer to Nighy's paranoid, self-obsessed singer, all the characters are totally convincing. Even Nail, whose singing talents haven't been best exploited in the past, has a tailor-made role as the grouchy guitarist, reluctant to give up his career as a roofer when the band re-form. Aubrey is superb as the harassed PA most aware of the emotional impact of the hasty reunion, while Connolly is perfect as the sarcastic roadie.

Brian Gibson, who honed his musical directing talents on The Josephine Baker Story and Tina Turner biopic What's Love Got To Do With It, injects a dash of realism into the band's shenanigans. He's helped by the music, a collection of new rock songs penned by the likes of Foreigner's Mick Jones and Squeeze's Chris Difford.

But it's the dialogue, by long-time writing partners Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, which makes this rare treat a joy to watch, keeping on the right side of reality while still lining up plenty of laughs.

The Commitments for grown-ups. This tale of a band back on the road is so realistic you'll swear you own the albums. Perfect for anyone who's been touched by the hand of pop. A foot-stompin', rip-rockin' good night out.

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