About:

Title: Begin Again
Released: 2013

Fix: Quirky NYC Adventure, With Singing!
Platform: Netflix

Netflix Summary: 

When a down-on-his luck music producer discovers a promising singer-songwriter in a bar, he resolves to launch her career — and save his own.

FYA Summary: Songwriter Gretta follows her musician boyfriend from England to NYC, and then gets dumped, just as his career is taking off. When she meets Dan at an open-mic night, she decides to give him a chance, and let him produce her album, even though he’s a drunken mess. They spend the summer together, recording her music, getting to know each other, and bring a delightful cast of characters along for the ride.

Familiar Faces:

Keira Knightley as Gretta

Gretta is real, down-to-earth, refreshingly honest, and a pretty good songwriter. I’ll be honest, I don’t always love Keira (do not get me started on Elizabeth Bennett). But she’s really great in this.

Mark Ruffalo is Dan

Dan’s life is a complete mess. He’s lost his job, and his family, but he still hears the music. You might know this guy from every great movie ever, and those times he loses control and turns into an enormous green rage monster.

James Corden is Steve

Steve is Gretta’s only friend in the city. He gives her a place to stay, and refuses to let her wallow in self-pity. When the movie first came out, I didn’t know who James Corden was, other than my favorite new star.


Plus: Catherine Keener, Hailee Steinfeld, and more! Basically, everyone in this is wonderful, and I love them all. I even loved Gretta’s terrible ex-boyfriend.

Couch-Sharing Capability: Come Together

Watch this with your significant other! Watch it with your girlfriends! Do both, like I did! It’s a romantic movie, but mostly about friendship, family, and good music.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Champagne Supernova

I mean, I’m always going to recommend you enjoy a nice bottle of something, but no need to get Dan levels of wasted.

Use of Your Netflix Subscription: The Best

Begin Again is one of my favorite movies of the last few years. Due to its limited release, hardly anyone seems to have seen it when it came out. I got lucky and saw it twice in the theater. I also may have watched it every time it’s been on cable, and bought a digital copy for when I’m wallowing in bed. Okay, I even bought the soundtrack.

If you liked Once, or love stories about unexpected friendships, I feel certain this movie is for you. You’ll be cheering for Gretta, as she makes her way in New York, and rooting for Dan to get his life together, and singing along by the end. This movie is sweet, and funny, and not at all what I expected it to be, in the very best way possible. I’m tired of judging you for not having seen it, so go watch already!

Kandis (she/her) is a proud member of the Austin FYA book club chapter who loves vampires, romance novels, live tweeting CW shows, and Jonah Griggs. She’s not like a regular mom. She’s a cool mom.