Now Playing: Mack the Knife
I just saw an advanced screening of Beyond the Sea, a film about singer Bobby Darin's life. However, it might as well have been Kevin Spacey's story, since Spacey not only stars in the film but directs and produces it, as well as sings each Darin song and beautifully so at that. They say he waited 5 years to make this film so he could train his voice and get it up to par.
I don't have to tell you that Academy Award winner Spacey acted well, that's obvious he always does a great job. But they also did a good casting job by picking Kate Bosworth to play Sandra Dee. I had just watched the Gidget movie on TCM the week before and was impressed at how much Bosworth looked and acted like the wholesome teen idol.
The film started a bit weird with flashbacks but the camera angles and shots are impressive. Also at first it was odd that Darrin interacts with his younger self in certain scenes, but it became cute. The writing often pokes fun at the era and the industry, which is amusing. At times the film felt like a Broadway play, mostly because of the occasional showy dancing numbers, which is why I reccomend seeing it on the big screen. Overall I enjoyed it a lot and it was better than the similar fare, DeLovely.
When leaving the theater a few said that Spacey sang too many songs, but that didn't bother me, mainly because I like that era of music. It's amazing how much Spacey sounds like Darrin, but you can also hear him too, it's a nice combination.
I knew that Dee (made famous for a new generation with the song "Look at me, I'm Sandra Dee" in Grease) and Darrin were a hot Hollywood couple of the time, but I knew little about their lives.
Here are some facts about Bobby Darrin:
* Had a weak heart and was told by doctors that he would not live pass the age of 15.
* Campaigned for Robert Kennedy, was against the Vietnam war, became a hippie and participated in a 1965 Civil Rights march to Alabama.
* Scored his first hit at age 22 with "Splish Splash." Had many other chart toppers like "Beyond the Sea" and "Dream Lover."
* Acted in 13 films, won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar.
A major fact that the film glossed over was that Dee and Darrin legally seperated and he remarried for a few months in 1973. However, at the end there is a caption that reads: "Dee loves him to this day."
BTW- John Goodman also stars, and like usual the supporting cast helped make the film, especially Bob Hoskins and Caroline Aaron playing Darrin's Aunt and Uncle.
To view a trailer and get more info on the film, visit www.beyondtheseathemovie.com
I already ordered the CD for my mom (of course I'll be copying it to my ipod first):
PS: At an after party at APT Lounge on W13th ST, I met PC Magazine freelancer Matt Sarrel whose blog is Nina and Sonja Blog!
PPS: My b-day is in 5 mins. Dinner tomorrow at Sushi Samba!