It's difficult for me to remember a more joyful, smart, and pleasant coming-of-age movie made in recent years. Sing Street, shot on the streets of Dublin, is filled with vibrant costumes and colorful people and I couldn't help but feel delight as I watched the young characters come to life. During my first viewing, it was easy to make comparisons to the beloved American filmmaker John Hughes of 1980's Chicago fame because of the mutual time period. For those familiar with Hughes, Sing Street is just as kooky, spontaneous, and anti-establishment as The Breakfast Club and just as sweet, silly, and romantic as Sixteen Candles.
The film begins when fourteen-year-old Conor, whose parents have fallen on hard times and out of love, is forced to leave his posh private school for a rougher Catholic boys’ school filled with bullies both young and old. Student tormenters run rampant with little backlash and the Principal is a rule junkie who relishes in delivering punishment to anyone attempting to bend away from his will. Mercifully, everything changes for Conor when by chance he meets a beautiful and mysterious girl named Raphina. Attempting to impress her, he invites Raphina to star in a music video that his band is self-producing. The only problem is that he doesn’t actually have a band yet. The resulting forced formation of misfit boys is pure entertainment at its finest.
I found the optimistic innocence of the whole film to be refreshing and highly enjoyable. The infectious original songs, which Glen Hansard (of the popular Irish musical Once fame) contributed to, make the film worth a viewing on musical merit alone. I would also recommend this movie to John Hughes fans and anyone who needs a pick-me-up.