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hopscotchee: mark ruffalo score: 54.5 rating: R time: 105 minutes

huh. hmmm?? where to start. . . . in all honesty, begin again wasn't the worst movie out there. the idea behind it was unique-ish, and the small-film feel was greatly consistent throughout, with realistic settings and costumes. however, though this set up the possibility for a cute, original, music flick, intriguing keira knightley and mark ruffalo fans or those who have been obsessed with maroon five since this love and were instantly curious to see adam levine on screen, lacked any spark or buzz to make this shoulder-shimmy worthy. and, sadly, a sidenote we have to point out: the title on the poster isn't very fitting. (again, not judging or taking any points off because of it, but we kinda have a theory about the appropriation of title designs to the enjoyment or quality of a film. - hashtag 5sos - just saying)

straightaway, the film fell flat, hugely, at the fault of the story, but before we hash that out, there were a few positive notes in this ensemble. for one, dan's storyline held a basic pulse, enough to formulate a good group of entertaining scenes. one of these scenes being when (spoiler) dan is driving, in his car, to work, while listening to demo tapes. his blunt and overdramatic trashing of the music he's hearing is (obviously, obviously) comical and playful to the storyline, however, more intentionally, this added a creative and subtle way to introduce dan's character's views, persona, and tastes in music. this scene also kept the audience closely attached to the plot, keeping them on the edge, guessing 'what does he like?' or 'will the next demo be an acceptable listen?'. equally so, a majority of the enjoyment from these scenes came from mark ruffalo's acting. especially after hopping from avengers: age of ultron, and seeing him in such an iconic role as the hulk, to switch to a unemployed, creative spirit, and loser-drunkface was an impressive jump. and it only held true to mark ruffalo's ability to commit to the character he is playing. on the other hand, one could say that his voice is hecka recognizable, so even if you don't see him on screen, you will hear him, but still, the pairing of creative absurdities from dan's character and amount of commitment on mark ruffalo's side made for some enjoyable moments throughout the film.

that being said, even with a few amusing saves, the incoherent proceeding of the plot ended up resulting in the story feeling rather disjointed, leaving it with a bland demeanor. this was certainly seen in the (hashtag katy perry) hot-'n'-cold behavior of the movie's genre. innocently, one may, at first, assume that this film would turn out as a romance-drama, like most of john carney's films or like google presents it would when you search it up. but the viewer quickly is informed that this will not be a romance between dan and greta, in turn assuming the romance-titled genre came from greta and dave's 'relationship', yet what is the audience supposed to believe during (spoiler) the headphone date (for lack of a better word). maybe there weren't any sparks intended, but after including a speech about dan's ex-wife and him sharing each other's playlists during one of their dates, and then to have greta and dan do the same thing, this definitely felt like a step on the ex (ouch). consequentially, this left the audience confused about the intimacy of dan and greta's relationship. plus, to then throw dave into the picture!! this movie either ends up looking like a complicated-mess-of-a-love-story or a confusing-business-partners-who-hang-out-outside-of-work-a-lot-sitch. not to mention that greta also (spoiler) gets to know and gives advice to violet, dan's daughter!! - like, were they trying to have a relationship or not?? now, there is a possibility that not everyone who watched this saw it (certainly the people apart of this project didn't), but it is clear that the story could've done a little more to address or define the labels between the two (not to be punny).

additionally, this wasn't the first time that the storyline left the audience on their own. another confuser was when (spoiler) greta finds out that dave cheated on her. though we applaud the awkward silence between them for maneuvering around infopackets, without much dialogue this scene easily left the audience hanging, feeling a bit abrupt. they were having a nice evening, and then all of a sudden greta knows about dave's betrayal, and sure, maybe they were going for the 'when you know, you know' aspect of love, but to some viewers, this may feel like a jump.

overall, yes, there may be some who watch this movie and actually don't mind it, but for the most part this movie just kinda missed the mark and left you very confused. and with nothing really showy, showy, in the end, there isn't really anything that leaves you hitting replay.

-- thanks, mark xo

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