Anne Hathaway, a person I once ran into on the street in DUMBO while she was walking her dog like a real person, is a divisive star. There are over 4.69 million hits when you look up "Anne Hathaway hate" in Google (which is more results than just searching for her name). This "backlash" hasn't hurt her movie career much: she still wins Oscars, gets plum roles in marquee films like Interstellar, and has time to pursue passion projects like Song One, a romantic-tearjerker set in Brooklyn about a woman (who presumably resides in Brooklyn) who Brooklyns so much she learns how to Brooklyn the true beauty of Brooklyn.
The film, which Hathaway produced, looks like a mix of Rudderless (retracting steps of dead loved one via music), Once (people falling in love to the sounds of acoustic guitar), and Do The Right Thing (because it is set in Brooklyn... not because of the incredible cinematography, Spike Lee's incendiary style, or the incisive commentary on race relations and gentrification). It's a musical in which Hathaway, the ultimate Theater Kid, only sings two of its 32 songs; it's a classic 'weepie' that takes place in the margins of a romantic tale of well-coiffed musicians chasing the Brooklyn dream. It's the culmination of four years of real-life experience living that dream.
It is also, according to Indie Wire, the movie equivalent of "Urban Outfitters window display mannequins come to life." Here's the plot:
Hathaway plays Franny, a PhD candidate in anthropology studying nomadic tribes in Morocco. When she gets a call from her mother (Mary Steenburgen) that her brother Henry (Ben Rosenfield), an aspiring musician living in Brooklyn, has gotten into a terrible accident that has left him in a coma, Franny returns home to her estranged family.
Franny hasn't spoken to Henry in six months because she disagrees with his decision to drop out of college and pursue music full-time. She's ignored his efforts to reach out and share his music with her; apparently, her disapproval is so great she can't even voice support for her brother on his own career path. Upon coming home and seeing him comatose, Franny appears to regret their argument, but the film doesn't hold her accountable for having treated him poorly — instead, it celebrates that Franny has come home and healed the wounds of familial conflict, while failing to fully acknowledge that she inflicted them in the first place.
Not knowing whether her brother will ever wake up, Franny tries to get to know him and understand his world indirectly, using his journal as an unofficial guidebook to hip Brooklyn hotspots and visiting all of his favorite hangouts.
She ends up falling in love with her brother's favorite musician and
yadda yadda yadda Brooklyn Brooklyn Brooklyn love is mysterious and Brooklyny.
Don't get us wrong: Hathaway is a good actress (she has those giant eyes that can act circles around most people—she turned an otherwise embarrassing "love" monologue from Interstellar into something approaching believable, or at least, deeply felt), but do we really need yet another film repackaging a "Nick & Norah's" version of Brooklyn to lovelorn Video-On-Demand viewers?
We guess every neighborhood gets the Les Misérables it deserves.