Danny Collins is an ageing rock star who is living on success from songs that were hits years before. Everything changes when he receives a birthday gift from his manager and best friend Frank, which just happens to be a handwritten letter from none other than John Lennon, 40 years ago.
This makes Danny want to get back to his songwriting and thinking about how different his life would have been if he had received that letter when it was sent. The letter had been kept as an attempt to make money by the man who did an early interview with Danny then got into the hands of a collector. It is brilliant to see how this changes Danny and he is determined to make some changes in his life.
He heads across to New Jersey but it is not clear to begin with why exactly he has chosen NJ of all places to go to. It doesn’t take long to find out that is where is grown son is living. The son he has never actually met, you can guess how it is all going to go not very well to begin with at all. He meets his young granddaughter Hope, who has ADHD and is hard work for her parents. Samantha and Tom, who do their very best to raise her in the difficult circumstances. This is something Danny really sees as an opportunity to start helping his family.
Along with trying to reconnect with his estranged family he also begins a different relationship to what he is used to with Mary the manager of the hotel he is staying in. This is actually a very nice relationship and he gets to show how charming he can be towards women. Mary is different and while she eventually does seem to really enjoy his company she still tries to push him away as well. He does have that rock star bad-boy image as well.
Another relationship we see quite a bit of is with Frank and you have to say that Christopher Plummer and Al Pacino have a great chemistry as the old friends. Plummer delivers so many great lines and plenty of swearing comes with it as well. I certainly enjoyed these exchanges a lot, just a shame we didn’t get more really!
The film did turn out to be different to what I expected it to be, that is not a bad thing at all though. It is a good thing as it had a lot more heart and emotion than I expected. But it was also funny and made me smile throughout. When you think about Pacino and what he has done in his career it is nice to see him taking on this type of role in a totally different genre than he made his name in.
It also makes you think about artists and bands who have been around for a long period of time and wondering if they get sick and tired of performing certain songs. You know that one song that everyone waits all night to hear live in concert. So this film will make you wonder about that and how your favourite song may actually be hated by the artist now.
I thought the cast worked very well together and the ending seemed to come as quite a sudden thing. Leaving you to decide what happened next for different parts of the story, obviously cannot really say much more about that without spoiling the twists and turns of the story. I can see myself wanting to watch this one again as really has something very good about it.