Sing Street could so easily be described as the “Feelgood film of the year”, so why did it make me burst into tears as the credits rolled?
On reflection, I think it was because writer/director John Carney has made a movie that reflects the hopes and aspirations of being young, the agony of teenage love, family relationships and the total ridiculousness of keeping up with the latest looks, set against a background of Dublin in 1985, and with the most glorious soundtrack of songs from the time, plus lovingly-crafted originals.
“Sing Street is me trying to figure out why life is such a battle as an adult – nothing fazed me when I was a kid,” says Carney.
Carney was guided in his tastes by his older brother Jim, who died in 2013 – Sing Street’s closing titles include the further tear-inducing dedication: “For brothers everyw” – so the relationship between Conor and his elder brother Brendan is as important as that between Conor and Raphina.
Carney appears to have developed something of a fraternal relationship with Gary Clark, his musical collaborator on Sing Street.
Clark’s style is suited to the big screen – his group was named after Frank Sinatra movie Meet Danny Wilson and the band’s sound, plus that of subsequent solo projects, has a real filmic quality.
He and Carney worked on several original songs together, but Clark penned Sing Street’s anthemic stand-out song Drive It Like You Stole It himself, after Carney said he wanted something with a Hall and Oates/Huey Lewis/ Billy Joel feel about it.
“Whilst Clark is well-established, the young cast who make up the band are new to acting, and that’s the way Carney likes it.”
Well, if it can make a hardened 50-yearold like me get all tearful, Sing Street deserves to be a huge hit.