“August Rush”: The best comedy of the year..what? It’s not a comedy…oh…

August Rush

Before I begin, I want to give a warning to parents who intend on taking there children to see August Rush, especially if that child is a daughter. Make sure you explain to them that if you meet a young man, whose perhaps handsome, on a rooftop some starry night and one of the first things he tells you is he talks to the moon, to run the other way. The guy is probably crazy. And certainly don’t have what could be a one night stand on said rooftop for the sake of romanticism. Some moments are probably not worth getting caught up in, and there in lies the flaw of this goofy, senseless movie. It’s goofy…and senseless. If your kid is a boy, tell him to give it a try, tell him to say that he talks to toilet bowls, it would make just as much sense, and might actually work. As far as this movie is concerned.

A boy is spawned from this meeting, but it’s too late, the girl, Kerri Russel, a talented cellist who has been directed to play with big eyes to the sky gooiness has already been drug off by by her overbearing father, William Sadler, leaving the boy who speaks to the moon, Jonathon Rhyes Meyers, the lead singer of a rock and roll band, in utter dismay. He’s in so much dismay from the loss of his true love that he can’t play music anymore. Oh, the heartache, how many more girls are out there that will buy the moon line! Several months pregnant, Russell has a fight with daddy and runs out into the street where she’s struck by a car! Oh, my. I laughed through most of the movie, and am close to laughing now. Daddy, tells her the baby died, and she no longer wishes to play music. But the boy, Freddie Highmore, didn’t die. Daddy has shipped him off to an orphanage. But the boy’s and girl’s love for music somehow got mixed up with their copulation and has created a child prodigy or a nutty kid who hears music everywhere, and wants to follow it thinking that it will bring him back to his parents.

The reason why I’m not calling them by their names, is because it’s really not important. The characters are so poorly created, and the dialogue so poorly written that these talented actors do their acting between lines. The only one who doesn’t seem to get it is Robin Williams, as Wizard. Oh, poor Robin Williams, there was a time, sir, in which I enjoyed your presence on screen, but now like Travolta, you try far too hard and in the process come off as having no idea what you’re doing. Wizard who keeps talented musician runaways holed up with him in a scheme to collect money, takes Highmore under his arm. This happens after the young boy picks up a guitar for the first time, and hitting the strings with the side of his hand is able to produce music that everyone thinks is amazing.

The screenwriter and director both seem to have wanted to make this a family film and in doing so they chose to convey the story to the lowest common denominators. In one sequence that starts off interesting before becoming so heavy handed it walks into ludicrous territory, we’re treated to Higmore’s first moments in the Big Apple. Everything around him becomes a musical score and he begins lucidly waving his arms around to the music. The city is good to him and we see just how good when the camera cuts to a shot of a walk sign signaling that it’s okay to walk. But the number of the child placement counselor, Terrance Howard, another actor acting between the lines, who Highmore has come to find, slips from his fingers and of course down a sewage grate. The city turns on him; the music becomes dissonant, and in what I’m sure they wanted to be a profound moment, they cut back to the walk sign and the red don’t walk is flashing.

This film is filled with too many unintentional laughs to count. Too many things that just don’t make sense and that happen so randomly and with such emotion I could write a 50 page essay. And for this film, it’s not worth it. But I’ll give you one to chew on. Or two. On the rooftop the dialogue flows like this…

Boy: So who are you?

Girl: Just…me…What are you looking at?

Boy: Just you.

And they kiss.

Then there’s the scene in which Wizard helps Highmore come up with his name. A truck passes with an advertisement for a beach.

Wizard: What word stands out to you on that billboard.

Boy:…beach.

Wizard: Well beach would be okay if you had a group of people harmonizing.

Then he points out the two words that are placed so closely together and in giant bold faced type…August Rush. It’s so heavily on the nose and obvious and just stupid it makes you laugh.

Oh, okay, and a third one. Building to the climax, Highmore has to make a daring escape and as he runs away another young boy shouts after him…wait for it…wait for it…

Boy: Run August. Run!

It would only take someone who has no idea what they’re doing to allow this line that sounds so similar to “Run Forrest. Run!” to be shouted after the main character, who just happens to be a boy with some mental instability. I laughed really hard.

In the end this film is like those email forwards you get from your Aunt, you know, the ones telling you to send around to see how many friends you have, or tell you angels are watching over you, its annoying, but forgivable, because it has the best intentions in mind. You just wish that it would grow up a little bit and treat you and the kids around you like they know a little better.

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19 Responses to ““August Rush”: The best comedy of the year..what? It’s not a comedy…oh…”

  1. Movie Review: August Rush sucks like Anna Nicole in a room full of billionaires « docweaselblog Says:

    […] UPDATE: The blogs have spoken, August, Shush! Joey’s Film Blog Philzine […]

  2. Andrew Says:

    You forgot to mention the part where Music-Boy enters a church on the po’ side of town, and listens to the choir practice. Then the little girl sees Music-Boy, and starts singing directly to him: “O! I’m just a motherless chile!”

    Kee-ripes.

  3. Phillip Says:

    Even better is when she asks if he’s the boy who’s been sleeping under her bed. Cree-eepy… Oh, too many to call out.

  4. Mashedup Says:

    Here is an interview with Kerri Russell On August Rush. I heard that she was very hard to work with, however the interview does not seem to project that.

    Check it out.

    http://www.iklipz.com/MovieDetail.aspx?MovieID=44e04492-d260-405c-9680-a2cd6334105a

  5. Phillip Says:

    Mashedup,

    Thanks. Though David Poland has a way of making situations awkward. I got the sense that Sheridan and Russel were becoming impatient at moments. I’ve slowly been coming around to Kerri Russel, and I never believe stories of on set shenanigans. I haven’t seen “Waitress”, but I’m looking forward to it now having seen what she can do in “August Rush”, and that’s not a joke. I thought she handled herself quite well.

  6. Andrew Says:

    I’m man enough to say that “Felicity” was a great television show, due in no small part to Keri Russell. She’s got chops and she’s easy on the eyes. What more do you need?

  7. jan Says:

    I loved the movie, August Rush. It is a modern day fairytale.

  8. Phillip Says:

    Jan, You are correct. I would recommend though that if a parent were to take there kids to any fairy tale right now it would be “Enchanted”. It’s a far better movie, with better music and a higher moral code. One night stands aren’t as dreamy as August Rush implies.

  9. Virginia Morse Says:

    To those of you who thought the movie August Rush stunk, you are probably among the vast majority who would prefer, violence, sex, the ocult, and profanity which is in most of the movies that are nominated for oscars. The acting in “August Rush” was superb, the story heart rending and sweet, the music was wonderful and it had a happy ending. With all the violence, nuduty and 4 letter words we are subjected to everytime you go to a movie or turn on the TV, this movie was refreshing. Both my husband and I, and incidentally he plays the cello and I the violin, LOVED this movie. It didn’t leave us disgusted or depressed like 99% of the films do now-a-days,.

  10. Phillip Says:

    Actually Virginia,

    I do follow what you’re saying. It’s nice to see a movie that’s not pessimistic, but for someone that doesn’t like the violence in movies the tone of your email is violently condemning.

    One of the movies I’m looking forward to most this year is “Wall-E”. The fact that I thought “August Rush” was ridiculously bad doesn’t mean I prefer violence and sex. It simply means I prefer a good story over a bad one.

    The fact that there isn’t nudity in “August Rush” doesn’t mean that the moral values portrayed are just as slippery. A PG rated movie that tells your kids it’s okay to have unprotected sex with a complete stranger on top of a building if you’re lonely. Yes, that’s what I want my kids to learn from a family friendly movie. Hog wash I say. Just because there is no swearing doesn’t mean it’s something I want my children to learn from.

    And I’m sorry…the occult? If nothing else the mysticism portrayed in “August Rush” is far more occultish than anything I’ve seen at a movie theatre in a long while. A kid that can feel music speaking to him and finds himself involved with a musical “cult” of hoodlums in the inner city.

    Because someone doesn’t like a movie, it doesn’t mean they are attacking the people who like it (as you are doing with the people that don’t). Don’t take the fact that I dislike a movie so personally and please don’t read into it and say because I don’t like this family friendly movie I don’t like any. “Babe” and “Babe: Pig in the City” happen to be two of my favorite films. And “Babe” by the way was nominated for an Oscar…Best Picture.

  11. Me Says:

    I can’t believe this guy is trashing this movie. I think it is an awesome movie. I laughed I cried and was glued to the screen. You know everyone has an opinion and this one sure stinks! I think that it was a wonderful story. Yes I believe it is wrong to have premarital sex and if you do let your children watch you should discuss it with them. Point out the bad things that happened as a result. Again I loved August Rush and would watch it again and again.

    • Phillip Says:

      You thought premarital sex was the worst of what happened? Again…she slept with a complete stranger that admitted talking to the moon! The idea is not to romanticize sex with crazies that hang onto the sides of buildings.

  12. Melzaine Says:

    Those of you that think every movie must have a happly ever after you tought wrong cause t ended on a high note so that you must think what followed.enjoy watching it cause i have watched it for more than times 5 time and everytime i cried it was a great feeling

    • Phillip Says:

      Hi Melzaine,

      Movies with happy endings are exquisite. I think you’ll find most people out there, whether they want to admit it or not, have a movie they prefer above any other simply because it has a happy ending. And you’ll find if you inquire that they’ve probably watched it more than any other movie they’ve ever seen. That wasn’t my gripe with the film, nor do I think it has been anyone’s gripe with the film, as you see several people who have written truly enjoyed the movie and more power to them. I just found it to be a poorly made movie with a happy ending, that drew more unintentional laughs out of me than genuine laughs, because I didn’t feel anything genuine within the movie. There was nothing that surprised or made me believe in the magic that was happening. There are movies that most definitely do, and I tend to go back and see them at the theatre several times, this just didn’t happen to be one of them. Thanks for the response to the post.

    • Anon Says:

      So, Melzaine, what do you have to say about me who have only watched the movie halfway (about 1 hour into the movie), i haven’t even got to the ending and i already think this movie sucks big time. It’s not the ending, alright, it’s everything about it.

  13. docweasel Says:

    The people who liked this movie know nothing about movies, acting, music or editing. If you are ignorant about all those things, (most of you regular teevee watchers out there probably are) then you probably loved this p.o.s. See my review trackbacked above for more.

  14. Anon Says:

    I do think the movie sucks balls. I’ve only watched halfway, and don’t think i could continue. It’s as if this movie was made for kids under 11. Too many coincidence which didn’t make sense, and the kid, freddie highmore, i believe he is a talented young actor, but he wasn’t alive in this movie. I felt like hitting him in the head the whole time i was watching the movie, his character was just fake! fake! fake! In fact the whole movie was fake! The movie tried too hard to be “great” and it failed miserably.

  15. sheila Says:

    i so hated the ending….the dad has no clue who the boy is..fine the mother knew but the boy just stood there smiling at two perfect strangers that haven’t even introduced themselves…i so thought the ending was wack…and what happened to the boy that help august escape….did the social worker plan the escape from the orphanage?what happened to wizard?…..so many questions that were not explained at the end…

  16. salfihsdfoish Says:

    Unlike the author of this piece, I do think that people who like August Rush suck ass

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