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Review: The Incoherents

Movies about rock n' roll often revel in the glamor of it all. Sex and drugs, the inevitable rise to fame, and then the fall from graces are often the key elements. It is refreshing that The Incoherents avoids all that. This is not a film about the allure of rock n' roll but rather about the joy of playing music. The Incoherents were a band in the '90s. They were part of the grunge and alternative boom and could have been something big. However, their lead singer decided to quit right as they were gaining attention. Now they are all in their 40's and Bruce (Jeff Auer) decides to not let his dream die and tries to get the band back together for a few shows. One of the smart things about this small indie comedy is that it never plays up the band's chances at a second shot at stardom. Sure there is a plot around the Governor's Ball and a spot for a local band but the film never lets you believe that The Incoherents will be the chosen band. What this does is help to separate the film from other "chase the dream" films. We get to understand that playing music is just fun for these guys. It pulls them out of their hum-drum lives and gives them something to care about. And that is enough for the film which results in a surprisingly effective message. The cast really helps sell the band's dynamic. Auer is good in the lead, perfectly summing up mid-life malaise. Alex Emanual, Walter Hoffman, and Casey Clark all have a strong dynamic together. They feel like old friends and bandmates. While The Incoherents is often funny and engaging, it does have a few pacing issues. The film could use a few fewer montages and a shorter runtime to make it a bit punchier. The film has a nice look to it, shot in what feels like a real music club often. It understands small details of being in a band such as the pains and joys of only playing to six people. The original music by Alex Emanuel and Jeff Auer feels authentic. A surprise cameo by Chris Barron of The Spin Doctors only confirms the love for this era of music. These qualities make it easy to overlook a few pacing issues and low production techniques. Overall, The Incoherents is one to catch.



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