Entertainment » Movies

Becks

by Roger Walker-Dack
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Feb 9, 2018
'Becks'
'Becks'  

Tony Award Winner Lena Hall, in her first starring role in a movie, makes the rather cute musical "Becks" a much more entertaining experience than one may have otherwise expected, given that the story is predictable. Hall plays the title character, an aspiring musician who packs up her life in New York to drive to L.A. in order to join the love of her life. She makes better time on the journey than she expects and arrives a day early -- surprising her girlfriend, who is the midst of entertaining a naked girl in her room.

With her tail between her legs, Becks angrily drives off to the middle of suburbia and back to her childhood home, where her ultra-religious widowed mother (played by the wonderful Christine Lahti) still lives. After an obligatory few weeks of being a self-pitying couch potato, Becks is shamed by her mother into getting out into the world again. In this instance, that means a rather dingy bar called Perfectos run by Dave (Dan Fogler), an old schoolhood chum of Beck's, and the only man she has ever balled.

As Becks is broke, Dave suggests that she bring her guitar and play for tips during the weekend, when the number of his patrons sometimes goes into double figures. One of the people in the crowd is Elyse (Mena Suvari), whom Becks bumps into a few days later when she is window shopping at Elyse's Vintage Clothing Store. Elyse is married to another of Becks' ex-schoolmates, but not one she liked. The couple lives in a big, rather sterile mansion, where Elyse is bored out of her mind.

The two women get closer when a very curious Elyse takes private guitar lessons, and it is clear to everyone where this will lead to. And it does. It is inevitable in this small town, where everyone knows everybody's business that this clandestine affair cannot last. One of the funnier scenes in the movie is when Becks' mother catches her daughter wearing a strap on and penetrating Elyse in broad daylight.

Evidently, the movie is very loosely inspired by incidents in the life of Alyssa Robbins, a singer-songwriter who, with composer Steve Salett, wrote most of the very fresh-sounding songs that Hall gets to sing.

The movie is the feature directing debut of Elizabeth Rohrbaugh and Daniel Powell, from a script that they co-wrote with Rebecca Drysdale, and thanks to its cast this entertaining drama turned out far better than poor Becks' love life.

Roger Walker-Dack, a passionate cinephile, is a freelance writer, critic and broadcaster and the author/editor of three blogs. He divides his time between Miami Beach and Provincetown.


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