Adaptations of Nick Hornby books have been largely successful so it was a surprise that Juliet, Naked arrived with so little fanfare. It isn’t exactly ground-breaking or challenging but it is an agreeable way to spend a couple of hours. Annie (Rose Byrne) is living in a faded seaside town in England with her boyfriend Duncan (Chris O’Dowd). Annie feels unfulfilled and Duncan’s obsession with singer/songwriter Tucker Crowe who disappeared after making one album is putting a strain on their marriage.
When Annie puts a critical review of Tucker’s music on Duncan’s fan website, they break up, but then Annie receives an email from someone claiming to be the musician. This took a while to get going, largely because as good a performer as O’Dowd is, Duncan is an infuriating character. However, when the brilliant Ethan Hawke appears as Tucker and starts a tentative relationship with Annie, the film really picks up. Tucker is deeply flawed but easy to warm to, and most of the romantic comedy cliches are avoided.
From that point, the film breezes along nicely and Tucker’s music is well realised. A pleasant surprise.
Rating: 7 out of 10