Weepah Way For Now


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Weepah Way For Now
"Mimi Rogers is on the kind of form we haven't seen from her in over 20 years."

Elle and Joy are sisters. They're also best friends. As such, they have unspoken permission to treat each other in a horrible way they'd never consider inflicting on anyone else, usually followed by lots of hugs and laughter. Weepah Way For Now, named for the Laurel Canyon street they have lived on, is a portrait of a bond both assume can withstand any pressure. It looks at what happens when happy-go-lucky Valley girls are confronted by various levels of tragedy.

The first of these is buried deep in the past. Narrating the film is a middle sister (Saoirse Ronan, who, with this and Brooklyn, risks getting a reputation for redeeming films with overpraised scripts that aren't as clever as they think they are), a sister who died at birth. Perhaps she is a constituent in the invisible glue that keeps Elle and Joy together. Later, a parental divorce broke up the family. The sisters seem to have come through that well, but its full consequences are yet to be felt. As for what is to come, nothing can really prepare them - but perhaps, as the dead sister suggests, there are some things that don't need to be looked at directly. Perhaps it's sometimes wiser to giggle and talk about clothes.

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Real life sisters Aly and AJ Michalka (who made their debut as child singing stars with Disney) play Elle and Joy, who are also singers and about to embark on a tour. Their existing chemistry makes them work well together even though neither is particularly skilled as an actress. To be fair, they were always going to find it hard to look good next to Mimi Rogers who, as their mother, is on the kind of form we haven't seen from her in over 20 years. She gives the film some much needed weight and her appearances are comfortably spaced so we don't spend too much time frustrated and waiting to see what the grown-ups are doing.

The sisters' musical moments work well and the film is very successful in capturing the character of LA's music business without submitting to the temptations of parody. The tone is believable even when the dialogue is not and the sisters gradually establish themselves as people one might care about, even for viewers whose first instinct is to get as far away from their shrieking and babbling as humanly possible. Overall, though, it's an insubstantial drama which never really finds its raison d'ĂȘtre.

Reviewed on: 12 Feb 2016
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Weepah Way For Now packshot
Two sisters face life's ups and downs as they prepare for their latest music tour.

Director: Stephen Ringer

Writer: Stephen Ringer

Starring: Aly Michalka, AJ Michalka, Mimi Rogers, Saoirse Ronan

Year: 2015

Runtime: 89 minutes

Country: US


Glasgow 2016

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