NOT FADE AWAY
Too Uncool for School
Release Date: December 21, 2012
Starring: Jon Magaro, Jack Huston, Will
Brill, James Gandolfini, Bella
McDonald, Brad Garrett
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 112 minutes
Distributor: The Weinstein Company
Director: David Chase
Executive Producer: Steve Van Zandt
Producer: David Chase, Mark Johnson
Writer: David Chase
Address Comments To:Bob and Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairmen, The Weinstein Company (Radius-TWC/Dimension Films)
345 Hudson Street, 13th Floor
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (646) 862-3400; Fax: (917) 368-7000
Douglas is a largely naïve high school student in New Jersey during the Mid 1960s. Douglas plays the drums and is in awe of the Rolling Stones as they achieve their first American mass success. Although he’s started his own rock band practicing in his family’s garage, Douglas maintains plans to join the Army after high school for college funds. His blue-collar father, Pat, approves this plan.
However, Douglas discovers he has a better singing voice than a friend who started as the lead singer. He takes over and the band starts drawing attention. Achieving this new attention and respect, Douglas must deal with the jealousy from others that arises. He also has difficulties dealing with the complexities of his first serious romantic, sexual relationship. When he goes away to college, Douglas finds himself drifting into the decade’s longhair and peace movement.
All this causes great disappointment in his father Pat, especially when Douglas announces he’s quitting college to pursue rock and roll full time. [SPOILERS FOLLOW] However, when Pat sees his son has a hit on the radio and a real chance to succeed in Los Angeles, he accedes to his son’s dream. Pat reconciles with his son and even gives him some cash to start anew with his girlfriend in L.A.
NOT FADE AWAY should be a lot more exciting or interesting than it is. Especially considering it was written and directed by the acclaimed TV writer and producer David Chase (THE SOPRANOS, I’LL FLY AWAY, THE ROCKFORD FILES). Chase makes NOT FADE AWAY too languorous in its pacing. He focuses more on emotional moments and thoughtful interludes rather than plot. Movies are different than TV drama in that way. The movie’s even bigger weakness is that the main band it’s trying to depict isn’t really very good. This band probably would never draw the kind of strong buzz that they do in the context of the movie’s storyline. The actors do a fine job, but the story is too predictable. This makes it hard to truly root for their characters.
NOT FADE AWAY has a very strong Romantic worldview with a politically correct tone. There’s also abundant foul language, unacceptably strong (though perhaps historically accurate) scenes of substance abuse by teenagers and young adults, and brief but crude sexual content. NOT FADE AWAY probably will fade from everyone’s memory more quickly and easily than the filmmakers wanted.
NOT FADE AWAY should be more interesting than it is. The pace is too slow, despite the rock songs. The movie focuses more on emotional moments and thoughtful interludes rather than plot. Also, parts of the story are predictable. NOT FADE AWAY has a very strong Romantic, Non-Christian worldview. There’s also abundant foul language, unacceptably strong scenes of substance abuse by teenagers and young adults and brief but crude sexual content. NOT FADE AWAY probably will fade quickly from memory.