Review: All Over Again

Written and directed by Joseph McGovern – Gregory (Joseph Fuoco) an aging guitarist, re-discovers his passion in music and finds the courage to play again. Also starring: Constance Reshey, Vincent Primavera, Mahdi Shaji, David Andro, Joseph McGovern and Sean Ryan.

Upon opening, McGovern’s style feels nostalgic or sentimental, as if the film is pining for something and then it becomes clear that it’s Gregory’s search for his lost passion and inspiration, spoiled by the tedium of everyday life. One of the things that becomes apparent quickly is the repetitiveness, while it’s not the smoothest choice for the film, it does convey that sense of Gregory’s waning creativity. The introduction to Gregory feels humble with the exception of him holding a cigar whenever he’s at the bar, it’s an odd little detail, coming across very particular and it partially throws off that earnest beginning.

As the story moves along and we’re introduced to Gregory’s family, it raises further issues, most apparent is the actor playing his son; it’s unclear what age he’s supposed to be when he refers to ‘school’ but he looks 30-years old, which is simply confusing. Secondly, there’s the repeated flashbacks which seem to be intended as an explanation to why he lost his inspiration, but it falls down a sentimental rabbit hole and the intention becomes unclear. It struggles with whether it’s trying to show that at the time he met his wife and they had their child, he was inspired or whether settling down caused him to lose his creative juices, it’s fairly clumsy and needed to be more clear. It’s also unclear what his roadblock is, whether it’s just writers block or whether there’s more going on, its sentimental nature gets in the way of letting you know what the real problem is. There’s also a lack of smooth editing with the flashbacks, they feel thrown in rather than a natural part of the story which again, hinders their effectiveness.

That repetitiveness which works initially, then starts to wriggle its way into the rest of the film and loses its impact, instead just feeling like we’re watching the same moment over again, without any real forward movement. The crux of the story is left too late and not given enough of a transition into the story, most obviously was the assumption that the audience would think he was a singer, despite only ever playing guitar and not even humming a tune throughout. In the end we were supposed to know that he wrote lyrics as well as music, which fell to a clumsy way of getting its point across and not seeing it all the way through.

All Over Again had good intentions but it takes a messy route from A to B, it’s unfocused and leaves its journey feeling unclear. It had a nice sentimental tone at the beginning but dove too deeply into it and lost its way, there just wasn’t enough of a smooth journey and sincere emotion to pull this story off.

Verdict: ✯✯

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