Wednesday, September 30, 2015

DVD Review: Love & Mercy

Love & Mercy
Director: Bill Pohlad
Cast: John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks, Paul Giamatti
Studio: LionsGate
Release Date: September 15, 2015
Retail: $19.98
Running Time: 122 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Buy Link: Amazon

Now available to own on DVD from LionsGate is the musical biopic Love & Mercy. Directed by Bill Pohlad, the film stars John Cusack, Paul Dano, Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti. Special Features include deleted scenes, A California Story: Creating the Look of Love & Mercy Featurette, A-Side/B-Side: Portraying the Life of Brian Wilson Featurette and an audio commentary.

Based on the real-life story of Brian Wilson (the co-founder of The Beach Boys), the film stars John Cusack as a middle-aged Brian Wilson. After his father died during the 70s, he became deeply depressed and spent two years isolating himself from the world, overeating, drinking too much alcohol and taking drug. In October 1975, Brian's family hired a therapist Dr. Eugene Landy to help him.

From left to right: Brett Davern ("Carl Wilson," left), Paul Dano ("Brian Past," center) and Kenny Wormald ("Dennis Wilson," right) star in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's LOVE & MERCY.

The film opens up in the 1980s, where Brian meets his future wife, Cadillac saleswoman Melinda Ledbetter (played by Elizabeth Banks) while looking for a new car. The two have an instant chemistry and Brian leaves his phone number for her, just before the controlling Landy (played by Paul Giamatti) intervenes. Brian attempts to have a relationship with Melinda, but Landy thinks she's a problem. However, Melinda is determined to save Brian.

John Cusack ("Brian Future") and Elizabeth Banks ("Melinda Ledbetter") star in Lionsgate Home Entertainment's LOVE & MERCY.

Throughout the two-hour running time, the movie flashes back to the 1960s when a younger Brian Wilson (played by Paul Dano) is trying to change The Beach Boys sound by writing and composing their eleventh album, Pet Sounds. Despite his band members', including his brother Carl, objections to the new sound, Brian was confident in his music.

I recall seeing the film advertise on television during the summer, but I had no idea that it was about Brian Wilson. I'm not the biggest fan of music biographies, but this film has an unique feel to it, mostly thanks for the filmmakers deciding to flashback to the early days of The Beach Boys. Both John Cusack and Paul Dano give great performances as Brian Wilson. Overall, Love & Mercy is surprisingly entertaining film.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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