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It's 1964, the Rolling Stones appear on television and three best friends from the suburbs of New Jersey decide to form a rock band.
Exuberant and bittersweet, Not Fade Away is a coming-of-age story set to a British Invasion beat that occasionally meanders but mostly charms.
The movie is a psalm to those who, far from pursuing the path of the Rolling Stones, stayed trapped under a rock.
Yes, it's about rock and New Jersey, but it's also about getting a life going and dreaming, and that's timeless, classic stuff.
As the title oh-so-obviously implies, it's a love that will-well, you know.
This film could have been -- should have been, even -- something special. But it's not.
Well-observed but occasionally disjointed, it's a film that's more about thematic tone, sound and images than it is driven by plot.
There's a nice, pop-in-and-see rhythm to the storytelling. Gandolfini's Pat descends into a rich sadness. There's wry humour to be had with Douglas and his idealizing buddies. Loneliness and longing lounge around together.
The period details are spot-on and the soundtrack is great.
There are plenty of laughs along with the melodrama as the band and its members struggle through young adulthood.
Hits notes you thought only Chase's primo Sopranos could reach.
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