Shut Up

28 Apr

It’s embarrassing to think that when I was in college, I used to really like a cappella music.

I liked it so much that freshman year I actually went to other campuses to see various groups in concert — Tufts’ Beelzebubs, for example.

Thankfully, by junior year I came to my senses and realized that a cappella was not all that. I suppose the same can’t be said for those who were actually in those groups.

Well, those people (not me) are the likely target audience of Sing Now or Forever Hold Your Peace, a movie about a group of friends who were all in an a cappella group in college and who reunite 15 years later to sing at one of the guys’ weddings.

Not surprisingly, they’re still holding on to the good old days; the guys have all found that life after college is not all it’s cracked up to be. Whereas in school they were the shit, with their goofy jeans-and-tie outfits and legions of adoring fans, after graduation they find themselves stuck in loveless marriages, terminal careers, and depressed lifestyles.

What a shocker.

It all brought to mind that great article in Boston magazine about how cool the Dear Abbeys at B.U. think they are. Oh, how life’s going to change as soon as they graduate.

Anyway, despite my cynicism, I have to say the movie isn’t all bad. It’s actually quite sweet at times, and there are at least a couple good lines and scenes.

The cast — with the exception of Molly Shannon, who is totally out of place — is really likable and I suppose the music isn’t half-bad either. (I chalk that up to the novelty factor since I don’t remember the last time I heard a cappella music.)

But many scenes just go on too long, Shannon is really annoying, and some of the plot threads are a bit much.

Oh, and then there’s the scene about halfway through that takes place in jail — the guys get arrested — and wouldn’t you know it, there’s a guy in the pen with a bass voice who also loves singing a cappella. So the guys break into a rendition of “Working on a Coal Mine” right there in jail. Because that’s real, right? And that is the exact moment the movie jumps the shark.

From then on, I really couldn’t wait for it to end.

You may be asking, why did I see this movie in the first place? It’s because I actually know two of the lead actors. Or knew, to be more accurate.

David Harbour and I acted in shows together back in high school and played soccer before that, and Samrat Chakrabarti was a year behind me in college (no surprise, he was in one of those a cappella groups the film is based on). It’s funny to think Dave is supposed to be 37 in the movie and Samrat is supposed to be 36; in reality, they’re both 31. (In the photo, Dave’s the tall guy in the middle and Samrat is on the far left.)

Sing Now was made a couple years ago and until the Dixie Chicks took the name, the film was actually called Shut Up and Sing. There were times during the movie where I was saying just that.

So I can’t really recommend this one unless you have a soft spot for a cappella or the collegiate groups that performed it. I’m giving it a C+.

One Response to “Shut Up”


  1. Organized Nerd Singing « Martin's Musings - September 28, 2012

    […] Apparently, you can be too old for a cappella, the students are saying. It’s a college thing, and anyone who’s into it after that is just lame. (They probably shouldn’t see the movie Sing Now or Forever Hold Your Peace.) […]

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