I just came back from seeing August Rush and I’m torn between loving it and hating it. Once you accept that it’s a modern day fairy tale set in New York, it’s easier to just let go and enjoy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t keep the nitpick fairy from making me discontent with it despite all the magic. I just had too many “how?”s and “why?”s. Maybe it’s because I’ve grown cynical about fairy tales and, honestly, Robin Williams starring in a fantastic tale in New York…well, that’s The Fisher King, which was brilliant on so many levels. And when you try and compare the treacle-laden fluff that is August Rush, it doesn’t measure up.
But then again, I’d watch Freddie Highmore and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers read the milk carton. They’re both so appealing and so watchable. I guess that’s the bottom line for me. You had a beautiful, musical, love letter to a city I adore and two talented male actors who could sit around reciting a grocery list and make it entertaining… that alone should make it worth the $11.25 I shelled out at the Kips Bay Loews, right? It was a feel-good film, and as long as you don’t look at it too closely, analyze too deeply, it works on a lovely level. It was sweet and heartfelt and had great music. I loved hearing the city through August’s ears. We take for granted all the honks and the screeches and the bumps and the thunks. To him, it’s all music.
I think what I really wanted out of the film was more. Another ten minutes, another fifteen. Just a little more meat and a little more resolution. That extra inch past “and they all lived happily ever after.”