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'The Greatest Hits' Review

LightsCameraJackson LightsCameraJackson Critic Lucy Boynton, who gave a breakthrough performance in “Sing Street”, and was also in “Bohemian Rhapsody” with Rami Malek, clearly loves movies about music. She stars in another one, as Harriet, in “The Greatest Hits”. It’s been two years since her boyfriend, Max, died in a car accident. Harriet suffered a severe head injury. Every time she hears a song that they listened to together, or was on in the background when they were together, she is literally transported back to that moment.

This is ruining her life. It’s forcing her to wear headphones wherever she goes — determining which songs are “safe” and unsafe. She struggles to move on and form any kind of new relationship. And she wants to find “the missing song” that could allow her to go back and stop Max from getting killed in the car accident.

There’s a lot going on here — and an interesting hook from writer/director Ned Benson. For the first half hour, I was with this. The dialogue is a little curated, cute and on the nose. But I was willing to go along for the ride because (when they’re done well) I tend to like movies about time, memories, loss, music and “meant to be” situations. However, as “The Greatest Hits” continues, it gets more and more muddled, progressively sillier in bad ways and caught up in itself, delivering mixed messaging. And even in a fantasy scenario, there’s hardly any logic. The script falls apart again and again, which is so unfortunate.

The likable Boynton tries to save this but can’t. Retta appears in a handful of scenes as a grief counselor. Austin Crute (from the short-lived ABC sitcom “Call Your Mother”) is solid as Harriet’s friend Morris. Justin H. Min plays Harriet’s new love interest, David — a pretty standard role. The weakest link is David Corenswet, who has no personality as Max. Every time we go to a flashback scene, you question why Harriet wanted to be with Max in the first place. Corenswet is so monotone, uninteresting on screen and doesn’t look very excited to be in any of the scenes.

I’m now much more concerned about James Gunn’s upcoming “Superman” movie (slated for release in July 2025). Corenswet stars as The Caped Crusader. Maybe “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” Emmy winner Rachel Brosnahan can save the day — and carry the film — as Lois Lane.

The final 20 to 30 minutes of “The Greatest Hits” are deadly dull, sappy and filled with mistakes. You just don’t care what happens. I’ve seen worse movies in 2024 so far, but as far as biggest disappointments go, this shoots right to the top of the chart.

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