The Greatest Hits – DISNEY+

The Greatest Hits - time travelling music themed rom-com
Lucy Boynton in THE GREATEST HITS. Photo by Merie Weismiller Wallace, Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2024 Searchlight Pictures All Rights Reserved.

For all of us we have songs that are deeply personal  which can bring joy, sadness, tears heartbreak from such memories and incidents in our own lives. One such instance is our Editor who, as a child, had a penchant for sticking his superhero action figures up his bottom resulting in frequent visits to the local A&E and it’s probably for that reason that he can never listen to M People’s ‘Search for the hero inside yourself’ (‘You’re fired!’– Ed). But for Harriet (Lucy Boynton) certain songs in new film, ‘The Greatest Hits’ has a far more serious impact on her life. Still mourning the tragic death in a road accident of her boyfriend Max (David Corenswet) their love of music and shared music finds her transported back in time when she hears certain songs. The time travel sees her trying to save him from his fate but ultimately her life is one where she can’t escape the all consuming grief that has taken over her life.

In a bid to escape the spiral where she attends a grief counselling group she meets new attendee David (Justin H Min) himself mourning the loss of his parents. And the pair tentatively start a relationship with her having to explain to him why she wears headphones in a bid to block out accidently hearing any songs that might see her travelling back in time. So the film becomes an exploration of grief instigated by music memories and whether she will ever overcome them  and begin living her life again .

The Greatest Hits is the sort of rom-com that would sit nicely in Richard Curtis oeuvre but there are elements of  ‘Hi-Fidelity’ and ‘Back to the Future’ amongst others in writer –director Ned Benson’s film. Benson has used a perfect soundtrack too with The The’s excellent ‘This is the day’ setting the tone both lyrically and emotionally and the sound track includes covers of The Cure and even Technotronic before culminating in Roxy Music’s ‘To Turn You On’ although we’d argue that ‘Over You’ might be more appropriate.

It’s not without its problems. We never really get to know Max as anything more than just a good looking guy she meets at a festival but a scene where they first meet there is replayed later in the film to heart breaking effect. That ‘Rashomon’ style ‘same scene from a different angle’ was used equally well for Benson’s 2014 trilogy ‘The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby’ (well worth catching ). But the leads are all good with Lucy Boynton catching that moment of irretrievably lost love and the melancholy within that prevents her from moving on. The Greatest Hits is sweetly romantic if a little calculating but at its heart is something that most can identify.

related feature : ‘Red White and Royal Blue’ World premiere at London’s IMAX as introduced by director Matthew Lopez

related feature : Richard Curtis & Director Sam Boyd talk about the making of, ‘Genie’

We chatted with director Ned Benson about the excellent music tracks he hass used in the film….

Here’s The Greatest Hits trailer…



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