The Weinstein Company is re-releasing John Carney’s coming-of-age pic Sing Street in theaters Friday for the Fourth of July frame, following its original domestic run that kicked off April 15. The pic, about a Dublin boy who tries to win a girl’s heart by starting a rock band, has grossed $8.2 million worldwide to date, and has set aside 20 screens for the weekend.
In conjunction with the re-release, TWC’s Harvey Weinstein, an occasional Deadline contributor, penned a remembrance of his own plan to win a girl by forming a rock band. No spoiler alerts here, but let’s just say that while he didn’t get far with a guitar, his eventual career has seemed to work out.
Here’s Harvey’s piece:
No matter how old you get, there are moments in life that always stay with you. Usually they’re “firsts” like your first car, first concert, first movie. And then there’s your first crush; obsessing over when you’d talk, what you would say, what you would wear – all to impress her. This many years later, I can still remember mine. That feeling of butterflies in my stomach while I finally built up the courage to talk to her. Somehow guys always go for that unattainable girl. I don’t know why we do it, but we always go for the one who’s out of our league, a few grades ahead us in school, and ultimately way cooler. We end up trying way too hard to impress her. Doing things we never thought we would and usually failing at most in the process.
For those of us who weren’t varsity athletes, the best way to get the girl was to be a rock star. Whether you wanted to be the next Elvis, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, or Justin Timberlake, the goal was always the same. Form a band, perform at the school’s battle of the bands, or nowadays start a YouTube channel, and win the girl. We didn’t have much money growing up in Queens for private music lessons or instruments, but we had an old guitar in our house. I got a few of my buddies and we started a band together. As it turns out, with the honesty that only a good Jewish mom can give her son, we were not destined to be musical gods. My band never made it far and my rock-star dreams were short-lived.
If you ask most famous singers why they got into music — most will tell you that it was a passion — but many of the guys will also tell you that it had something to do with a girl. Before he was the icon everyone knows today, Jay Z told me he used Michael Jackson’s music to get the attention of a girl in his neighborhood. He would practice his renditions of Michael’s songs for his sisters first before trying it out on the girl. Ultimately, his version of Michael didn’t win that girl, but I think he did alright in the end.
No one captures this story more perfectly or with such honesty than director John Carney in his most recent film Sing Street. Music is the fabric of Carney’s films. First with his incredible film Once, which went on to win an Oscar for best song and became a Broadway hit winning eight Tony Awards, and then again Carney captured the spirit of New York City through film and music in Begin Again. With Sing Street he sums up the dream of a boy, his band, and the girl with warmth, humor, charm and all the awkwardness of being a teenager. Not since John Hughes has this been done so well on screen. I ran to see Pretty In Pink when it came out in the ’80s. I’m sure most people think I only watched John Ford and François Truffaut films, but John Hughes captured the ’80s generation. Molly Ringwald was that girl every boy picked up a guitar or microphone to impress. Lucy Boynton fills Molly’s shoes perfectly in Sing Street. Just as he did with Once and Begin Again, Carney creates magic and triumph — two things that we can all use in these times. Ask anybody who’s seen it, they’ll agree what a terrific movie this is.
So many musicians have fallen in love with the film, from Bono who said, “In truth, most films won’t touch Sing Street’s portrayal of awakening,” to Jay Z and Usher – all loved it. So even though my band never got a record deal, I can’t help but wish that I hung on to that guitar…but I think my mother Miriam would still give me a healthy dose of reality.