Director: Dan Fogelman
Starring: Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Bobby Cannavale
Running time: 106 minutes
I went into this film without high expectations, but I was pleasantly surprised by how enjoyable it was. The plot was quite predictable and followed a rather typical rise-fall-rise again pattern, but there were a few fun moments along the way.
Danny Collins is definitely a fun, heart-warming experience, but not one that I will be rushing to see again any time soon. Its hero (Al Pacino) follows every washed-up rock star trope in the book with a soon-to-be wife half his age, an estranged son and a cocaine habit.
After finding out that John Lennon had written to him early on his career, Danny starts off on his journey to turn his life around and become true to who he really is, not just his record label’s hit-maker.
His charm not only works its magic on Mary Sinclair (Annette Bening), his ‘age appropriate’ love interest, but almost every character in the film. As his manager (Christopher Plummer) says: “He’s got a good heart. It’s just up his ass most of the time.” However, what lets Danny Collins down is the fact that some moments in the film can be quite unconvincing.
For example, there’s only so many times we can hear Danny’s son (Bobby Cannavale) tell him that he wants him out of his life, before it loses its impact.
In fact, most of Danny’s fall moments in the film are quite flimsy and mostly inconsequential.
Danny Collins is a much better film when things are going well for its protagonist, but it just isn’t quite capable of getting these low moments right.