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Movie review: Not Fade Away

A movie with no plot or character development

Photo courtesy of Paramount Studios

January 19, 2013 | 12:00 p.m. CST

David Chase’s Not Fade Away is a melancholy film filled with teenage angst, love and longing. Douglas (John Magaro) is the typical 1960s teenager who has a drum set and big dreams. The story is narrated by Doug’s little sister Evelyn (Meg Guzulescu), as she watched her brother grow up and out of the family.

Douglas’ father Pat (James Gandolfini), tries to guide his son in the right direction of life based on regrets from his past. Pat and wife, Antoinette (Molly Price), are a good pair on screen who gave the movie much needed comic relief.

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Douglas and friends make a suburban garage band and play local basements in the area. Doug falls in love with the rich and popular girl Grace (Bella Heathcote) who slowly gains interest with him as his band evolves. Members come and go but the story stays the same, a lack of chemistry.

The film is littered with useless scenes that added little to the development of the characters' stories. Every time it felt like something was about to happen, it didn’t.

The movie was filled with awkward silences and plenty of cigarette smoke. Doug’s parents really made the movie entertaining with their morbid one-liners, but even those were a bit overused. Other than that, the film was so bad at times it was funny. If the director let the viewers know more about a few characters instead of little about a variety of characters it would have the potential to be better.

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