Juliet, Naked Gets Hornby
Juliet, Naked adapts for the silver screen Nick Hornby’s eponymous novel, that with tragicomedy delves into the obsession for icons and the serendipity of life’s encounters. The film is brought to the life by director Jesse Peretz (Our Idiot Brother) and screenwriters as notable as Tamara Jenkins (The Savages; the recent Private Life), Jim Taylor (Sideways), and Phil Alden Robinson (Field of Dreams).
The story that is portrayed is about Annie (Rose Byrne), who is stuck in a long-term relationship with Duncan (Chris O’Dowd) – a fanatic admirer of obscure rocker Tucker Crowe (Ethan Hawke). One day, the couple receives in the mail an acoustic demo of Tucker’s hit record, from twenty-five years ago. This circumstance leads to a life-changing meeting with the elusive rocker himself.
The movie is drenched with Hornbyism: there is a strong fascination and analysis of popular culture, through modern characters who are idiosyncratic and humane. This is not a conventional romantic comedy, it revives the epistolary tool as a means of getting acquainted and eventually falling in love. The story gives a contemporary and quirky twist to the Cyrano de Bergerac archetype, avoiding the cliches of the romcom genre.
Annie and Tucker become affectionate towards each other as two mature adults, who have traversed many walks of life, especially in terms of relationships. Director Jesse Peretz blends warmth and humor, allowing the characters to come to life open-heartedly, in a way that can resonate with audiences. Annie and Tucker have acquired wisdom, yet withhold their fragilities and imperfections. They symbolize the authentic nature of life.
Deranged music fandom is a mere plot device to explore a man’s middle-aged regret, a woman’s self-doubt and the intricacies of family bonds. Witty and delicate, Juliet, Naked , bares the truth about adulthood, that retains unresolved situations that weigh upon every being.