Inspired by the real life of singer/songwriter Alyssa Robbins, the film follows a Brooklyn musician named Becks (Lena Hall) who, after a crushing breakup with her girlfriend, moves back in with her Midwestern mother (Christine Lahti). As she navigates her hometown, playing for tip money at her old friend Dave’s (Dan Fogler) bar, an unexpected relationship begins to take shape. Driven by an original score by Alyssa Robbins, the film’s musical numbers bring a unique new voice to the American musical movie.
What We Thought:
Becks is a nice little movie about heartbreak, returning home and following your dreams. I’m not familiar with Lena Hall but she’s quite good in this. We need more of these small, story driven movies to balance out the big blockbusters we get much too often.
Becks is a lesbian, but the story itself is pretty universal. You don’t have to be gay, bi, straight or whatever to understand heartbreak and not fitting in back home. If you were ever bullied and left your hometown, you can relate. If your significant other ever cheated on you, you can relate. If you are ten plus years into adulthood and still don’t know what you’re doing with your life, you can relate.
That is why the film works. It takes a story most people understand, adds in characters we all know and puts it into a setting most people have been in. Sure you may not be a gay guitarist trying to make it big, but I’m sure you have a mom or parent you clash with. You have some family that’s dysfunctional. You have former classmates you still give an evil eye to. You have someone you think about but know you shouldn’t. It all works.
Hall is good in the lead like I said, but I also really liked Dan Fogler. He runs the bar that Becks performs at when she moves back home and it’s a very subtle performance/character for someone who normally plays over-the-top comedic characters. Mena Suvari gives a nice performance as well and Christine Lahti is the mom that thinks she’s trying to understand her daughter, but ultimately can’t give up her Christian ideologies.
Becks is the type of indie movie that needs to get made more often. Give an audience something they’ve been through and you’ll get a great audience response. I hope it finds an audience and more people check it out.