Wednesday, April 3, 2024

‘Greatest Hits’ misses the mark

For a movie about unbearable grief and loss, The Greatest Hits turns out to be a surprisingly forgettable affair.
   Lucy Boynton plays Harriet, a woman who's. unable to recover from the death of her boyfriend Max (David Corenswet) in a terrible auto accident. 
    To make matters even more painful for Harriet, the songs she and Max once loved transport her to the past, episodes she insists are real. Now, if only Harriet could go back to the exact moment when she and Max met, she might be able to save his life. Suppose they had never done more than exchange a glance? 
   Harriet, who wears noise-cancelling earphones to avoid unwanted flashbacks, eventually meets David (Justin H. Min), a young man who falls for her. She's attracted to him but can't break the shackles of the past. 
   Austin Crute plays Harriet's best gay friend (of course, she has one); he urges her to move on.
    Director Ned Benson  (The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby) can't keep Harriet's visits to the past from feeling repetitive.
    In service of its title, the movie's time travel episodes are accompanied by a playlist that includes Ryan Lott, Roxy Music, Jamie xx, and Nelly Furtado. 
    Treating Harriet's problem literally (we watch as her present-day self relive moments in the past) diminishes the story's psychological potential as it moves toward a predictable conclusion.
     Put another way: Proust got more value from a single madeleine than this movie gets from all its songs together. Too highbrow a reference for a quasi-romcom? Probably, but if the pastry fits .... 

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