JULIET, NAKED DVD (2018)
SYNOPSIS: Annie (Rose Byrne) is stuck in a long-term relationship with Duncan (Chris O’Dowd) – an obsessive fan of obscure rocker Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke). When the acoustic demo of Tucker's hit record from 25 years ago surfaces, its release leads to a life-changing encounter with the elusive rocker himself. Based on the novel by Nick Hornby, Juliet, Naked is a comic account of life’s second chances.
Based on a novel by British writer Nick Hornby, yes that Nick Hornby who gave us Fever Pitch and About A Boy, Juliet, Naked is yet another of Hornby’s fascination with the man-boy world. It’s funny, charming, laidback straightly an unconventional rom-com you shouldn’t miss.
In a small town in England lives Annie (Rose Byrne) who is stuck in a long-term relationship with Duncan played by the often-hilarious Irish comedian Chris O’Dowd from Thor: The Dark World and Bridesmaids. Duncan doesn’t believe in marriage let alone having a kid, something which Annie has always desire.
In his spare time, Duncan operates a fansite dedicated to indie rock singer, Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke) who has since disappeared from the music scene for 25 years. When Crowe mysteriously replied to Annie’s ranting of his music on Duncan’s site, an email correspondence started between the unlikely two. And more bizarre things happened when Crowe turned up one day at Annie’s doorsteps with his young son.
On the surface, Juliet, Naked is a story about three bummed out adults. Both Annie’s working and love life didn’t turn out that well. Duncan is sort of living in his own bubble world and an affair with a new colleague doesn’t help things while Crowe is the saddest of all three despite fathering several children with several different women over the years and is now bunking in the garage of his ex-wife.
It’s a complicated and sad world all right but Hornby’s sweet, whimsy writing turned the story of three sad characters into something very mesmerizing and charming. Of course, it’s not that kind of comical movie that will have you breaking out into huge laughs but it’s almost guarantee that you will chuckle at Duncan’s amazement at the appearance of the real Tucker Crowe or Crowe’s unexpected family reunion at the hospital.
The always likeable Rose Byrne puts in an emotional, believable performance as the suffering Annie. It’s hard not to root for her character of Annie as she struggles to juggle her midlife crisis and love triangle. Chris O’Dowd is practically born to play Duncan, the self-absorbing music and movie geek. Crowe is like a variation of Jesse from Before Sunrise as Hawke nails the role of the tortured, talented singer perfectly.
There’s so much to like in this indie comedy and it does help that Ethan Hawke actually croons most of the heart-wrenching tunes that were played in the movie. An endearing story with witty dialogues and a great cast. Do check out Juliet, Naked if you can.
Making Juliet, Naked is a standard 9 minutes featurette that offers some cast interviews.
Juliet, Naked looks okay on DVD. By that it means don’t go looking for outstanding, fine detailed images, still it remains an enjoyable watch. Audio quality is excellent as dialogue is always clearly defined and the various songs are well placed across the channels.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee