Good Vibrations (Barros D'Sa & Leyburn, 2013)

What's it about? Based on the true story of Terri Hooley(Richard Dormer), who opened up a record store called Good Vibrations in Belfast at the height of The Troubles in the 70s and who went on to launch bands such as The Undertones under his ramshackle, independent record label.


Is it any good? I'm not really a fan of punk rock music, or going to small music gigs, and I don't really think Teenage Kicks is that good a song, nor am I particularly fond of The Troubles. Plus I must have walked past Terri Hooley's record shop a couple of hundred times when I lived in Belfast and never went in. So it is a testament to the film that it takes a pile of elements I don't really like and packages them into a movie I do like. Much of its appeal lies in Dormer's immensely likeable turn as the anarchic, eternally optimistic Hooley, who is convinced his music can transcend the violence and divisions engulfing his city. The directors also do a commendable job of maintaining the upbeat, feel-good tone without underselling or ignoring the grimmer aspects of Belfast life during the dark days of the 70s. It's a delicate balancing act which is pulled off admirably, so whilst it's an undoubtedly romanticised version of Hooley's life, it has a tough element which lends it an authenticity and serious edge. And of course, it has a rousing soundtrack which will delight fans of the music from the times. Overall, I really liked it. I didn't wanna hold it, wanna hold it tight, but I got some thirtysomething kicks through last night.

Anything else I should know? You know Teenage Kicks is a song about wanking, right? No, really. Listen to the lyrics. See?

What does the Fonz think? It's giving me excitations.






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