BY EMILY PERL
The idea that love and fame can’t exist in the same world is the driving message in the new movie Country Strong. Between its collaboration of a star fresh out of rehab and a hunky new leading man, this movie is one good ole country time.
Country Strong is set in the Nashville, Tennessee, the heart of the country music industry. While in rehab, Kelly Canter, played by Academy Award winner Gwyneth Paltrow, becomes romantically involved with her a rehab counselor, Beau Hutton, played by newcomer Garrett Hedlund. The pair sets out on a tour together, accompanied by Canter’s husband and manager (played by Tim McGraw) and by a beauty queen turned singer (played by Leighton Meester). The relationships heat up as the tour progresses but as past dark events resurface, new difficulties arise, leading to many breakdowns and hardships.
Overall, Country Strong was an exceptional movie. The story line appeared to start off slow, keeping the audience waiting patiently for something more exciting to happen. This monotony soon changed as the audience discovered more about the mysterious past of the aging country star.
Though fans may have been expecting to hear Tim McGraw sing in this country music centered movie, his part was purely a speaking role. Though, the other singers certainly did not disappoint. The lyrics tell a story about the characters that help progress the movie. Everyone’s harmonious voices worked well with one another; Paltrow’s voice was soft and sweet, but when mixed with the rugged toughness of Hedlund’s voice, the vocals sounded as if they were meant to be together. Even though the music may seem to appeal purely to country music lovers, anyone would enjoy the songs.
This role was perfect for Paltrow, who gave an exceptional performance. She was pretty convincing; there was not a dry eye in the theater. This movie proved that she can conquer any kind of performance, whether it is singing, acting or both.
Leighton Meester’s performance as Chiles Stanton was another key aspect of the movie. Although some may find it hard to picture prim and proper Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girl as a country pop princess, Meester played out the character perfectly. Whether she was dressed up like a perfect Barbie doll or singing to a gigantic crowd, it was shocking to believe that this was not her true self.
Between the vibrant music and the intriguing story line, Country Strong is truly unforgettable. The film is perfect for anyone looking to watch a romantic movie filled with heart wrenching drama. The movie is amusing and suitable for everyone, no matter the age. Girls will fall in love with Hutton and guys will enjoy Meester’s awesome performance. Even if you are not into country music, this movie is one that will make you say “ye haw”!