Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, the screenwriters of The Commitments essentially pick up where the epilog to that film left off, replacing the first band with “Strange Fruit,” a contrived 70s “supergroup” (and I say that kindly) that sounds like a cross between the Nick Lowe side of Rockpile (as opposed to the Dave Edmunds side) and late-Status Quo.
In Still Crazy, two members of the band, (suspiciously named Brian and Keith) are dead and everybody else is flat broke.
In simpler terms, the leaders of the band hate each other’s guts and, needing the cash, grudgingly agree to a “test tour” leading to a reunion at the 20th anniversary of the open air Wisbech Fest, this rlm’s equivalent of Woodstock.
Writers Clement & La Frenais could have gone for cheap drugs and sex gags, a la almost any 70s based “rock” movie but they work in some truly adult themes and solid stories underneath the gags – of aging and trying to regain the spark of youth, of loves lost, of arguments left unsolved – all things those of us who have passed 30 have seen in our lives one way or another in spades.
As with their The Commitments, you get distinct personalities in the band, and the actors actually come together as a performing unit, with real life vocals of actor Nighy and real life chops of musician Jimmy Nail. Anyone who grew up with 70s rock first hand, or have spent the last decade listening to classic rock, i.e. anyone with just a trifling knowledge of the quirks of that glam to punk time is going to have a damn fine time.