Juliet, Naked – A Solid Offering But Just Misses

Rating (3 out of 5)

A cute, decently paced romantic comedy that is worth watching when it comes to the movie channels, but don’t rush out to see it.

Annie (Rose Byrne) is stuck in a little English town with her boyfriend Duncan (Chris O’Dowd) and their relationship is stale.  Duncan is a mega fan of long lost musician and recording artist Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke), which dominates their relationship.  Through a variety of circumstances, Annie and Tucker become pen pals (via e-mail) and develop a close relationship, and the movie follows the growth of that relationship and the two characters.

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What I Liked:   Showing the characters through not only e-mails but in scenes played out around the e-mails was well done.  Now, I can’t say it was much different than how it was done in You’ve Got Mail but they weren’t anonymous discussion about each other, but learning about their lives.  In that way, the delivery was much better here.

I liked the Tucker Crowe character and how they showed life around him.  The twist they share at the end about Grace and how that impacted his career, and showing how developed into the person who he is now.  The other part I enjoyed was the discussion between Tucker and Duncan about his album.  I believe that many times fans see into things that the artist never intended.

The performance by Tucker Crowe at the museum exhibit was a good scene that put a lot of pieces together for the characters, but it was done nicely.  The old woman discussing the picture from 1964 that was of her and her sister with Annie was a bit obvious but still nice.

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Tucker brings his son Jackson with him to London.  They eventually stay with Annie at her home.  Jackson was a nice way to bring out key features of both Annie and Tucker and was an enjoyable part of the movie.

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There was also a scene at the hospital, where many his children from different mom’s show up, as do a couple of moms.  It was a good scene to show how Tucker had really screwed up, and was trying to make amends.

I liked the ending, because Annie makes her life, hers, without Tucker.  Prefer when the women characters grow without dependence upon men.  They leave it open to the next step in their relationship a year later.  Also, the last clip during the credits, with Duncan reviewing Tuckers new album was funny and well done.

What I Didn’t Like:  The lesbian sister was probably was supposed to be funny, but for me the humor just missed the mark.  Think if they changed the dialog around her just a bit, it would have worked.  If I look at the sister from Notting Hill or Rosie O’Donnel’s character from Sleepless in Seattle, they filled that role well.

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Annie’s character was a bit frustrating to me.  She seemed to let things happen to her and therefore created her own misery.  They attempted to make her misery based on her father dying, but don’t think that came through clearly.  Since the situation seemed to be self inflicted, it was hard to sympathize.  This was a miss in the script with the sister.

Conclusion:  I laughed at parts, and enjoyed many parts of the story.  Worth watching.