Begin Again (2013, John Carney)

Writer-director’s follow-up to Once, looks shinier and has movie stars (Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo) instead of musicians. Watched out of morbid interest. Not entirely bad, though I wasn’t feeling the magic.

Keira K is a fresh new singer, dumped by her rock star boyfriend after he got famous. She sings a blandly pleasant tune at open-mic where formerly powerful label exec Ruffalo is having a Very Bad Day. He hears her and it turns his pointless life around, as he dedicates himself to finding blandly pleasant arrangements for her songs to record “guerrilla-style” around the city with help from Cee-Lo Green’s backing band and Ruffalo’s estranged daughter on electric guitar.

With Mos Def as Ruffalo’s business partner, Catherine Keener as his ex-wife and Hailee True Grit Steinfeld as his guitar-rockin’ daughter.