Beyond the Sea gets a C

Kelsey and I went to go see Beyond the Sea, the Kevin Spacey biopic of Bobby Darin. It was ok. Not spectacular, not terrible. Spacey starred, co-wrote and directed the film, which may be why it seemed sorta self-indulgent at times; his singing was surprisingly good, and it seems as if there are no less than twenty scenes in it designed to prove just that.

Let me first say that Kevin Spacey is one of my favorite actors. American Beauty is one of my top 3 favorite movies of all time. So I would probably go see a mime remake of Freddy Got Fingered if it starred Spacey. So I guess I was disappointed by Beyond the Sea. I think Spacey tried to do too much, by doing all three jobs, but also just in concept. There's this really annoying plot device wherein Darin discusses different aspects of his life with a young version of himself. Young Bobby pops up throughout, either to dole out sage advice or to provide emotional impact in a scene; Spacey apparently doesn't have enough confidence in himself to provide it. The plot goes in too many directions that really don't add to the overall drama. Do we need to know about Darin's unwavering support of Bobby Kennedy? Do we need to know that his sister was really his mom? What do these things mean to the overall arc of Darin's life story? I don't know. :)

The rest of the cast seems very bland. Kate Bosworth is boring as Sandra Dee, who seems to go through massive psychological issues and alcoholism in the blink of an eye. Bob Hoskins and John Goodman can't seem to make me forget that they're Bob Hoskins and John Goodman. Especially John Goodman, who has now proven to me that no matter what movie he's in, he will be playing John Goodman.

In the end, I guess Beyond the Sea was a decent flick. I believe it would have been better with a different director, and with a more dynamic supporting cast. Spacey's singing performance is great, if a little overused, but the emotional impact Spacey must have been looking to inflict never hits home. I give it a C.


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