Garage Days (2002)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Garage Days</strong> (2002)

(On DVD, August 2010) Writer/Director Alex Proyas’s filmography is filled with spectacular SF/fantasy hits, but in the middle of The Crow, Dark City, I, Robot and Knowing, his musical comedy Garage Days always gets short thrift.  That’s a shame given how it features a fun script, good performances, a cool look at Sydney, some great music and Proyas’ typical gift for fast-paced visual storytelling.  Centered on a group of friends involved in a small struggling rock band, Garage Days soon spins out to include romantic complications, quirky supporting characters and the even-popular quest for the “Big Break” so beloved by other similar films.  Things don’t all end up as expected, however, and it’s one of the film’s minor triumphs that it still ends on a great note despite honouring its tagline of “What if you finally got your big break and you just plain sucked?”  Garage Days is a charming film despite its faults (many of them the kind of things you’d expect from a generally low-budget film made outside Hollywood), and it’s a good way to spend an evening.  The occasional flashes of high-concept style are welcome, Kick Gurry is particularly enjoyable as the protagonist and so is the somewhat run-down contemporary look at Sydney’s music scene.  The music is fine, as you’d expect from a comedy about a rock band: the film even features a high-energy concert sequence to the tune of 28 Days Later and Apollo’s 440 “Say What”.  For Proyas, it’s a very different film from his usual dark downbeat visions, and it’s a welcome interlude.  The story, characters and presentation may feel familiar (expect visual parallels with British movie-makers such as Danny Boyle and Guy Richie), but Garage Days is handled with a decent amount of verve, and it may even have something to say about how we don’t need to be rock stars to be happy.

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