John Carney, the writer and director of the independent smash Once, has returned with another film about the intersection of love and music. In Begin Again, Gretta (Keira Knightley) and David (Adam Levine) are a singing and songwriting duo who are partners in life as well as music. The couple moves to New York City in search of their big break, but when David scores a deal as a solo artist, he leaves her behind. Heartbroken, Gretta is considering giving up on music when she meets Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a music industry executive who has fallen into disgrace. Dan believes in Gretta and her talent, and is determined to make her a star. For Begin Again, Carney filled the supporting cast with real-life music figures, including Adam Levine, Cee Lo Green, and Mos Def, and leading lady Knightley does her own singing in the movie. The film's soundtrack album contains 12 original songs written by a handful of noted pop tunesmiths, including Gregg Alexander, Nick Lashley, Danielle Brisebois, and Rob Nowells, with performances by Knightley, Levine, Green, and Cessyl Orchestra.
AllMusic Review by Mark Deming