For me as a film lover and critic, discovering brilliant independent films like HOW DO YOU WRITE A JOE SCHERMANN SONG is much more satisfying than watching a Hollywood big-budget blockbuster. Independent films are often really special, because they come from filmmakers who are so passionate about cinema that they work terribly hard to raise the money for their productions, make best use of every single cent of the budget, get help from family and friends in order to reduce cost, and most importantly, overcome budget limitations and
create magic with their talents.
Talents are what HOW DO YOU WRITE A JOE SCHERMANN SONG writer-director Gary King and his entire cast have demonstrated with their film, and magic is exactly what they have created. The film may be seen as a musical, because music and singing do play an essential part (and there is some dancing too). It is, however, perhaps more accurate to call it a musical drama, because it is not just about music, but also very much about life, friendship and love.
The film's story reveals a common trait of the male species: Every man who has already found 'the perfect girl' will one day come across another woman whom he finds even more perfect, someone who interests, intrigues or inspires him like no one else has done before. This is certainly true for the character of Joe Schermann (played by Mr Schermann himself), a talented songwriter (just like he is in real life). "Writing is easy, living is hard," may be the tagline of the film, but the reality is that for Joe, living with the perfect woman is easy, but writing even one song for her is hard. And this long overdue task goes from hard to impossible the moment he meets that one 'more perfect' woman...
Every single member of the cast gives a great performance in HOW DO YOU WRITE A JOE SCHERMANN SONG. The standouts include Joe Schermann, who gets to show off his amazing abilities to write beautiful music and lyrics that make the melodies come to life; Christina Rose, who is perfect playing the one and only truly perfect woman in Schermann's life; and Mark DiConzo, whose performance is worthy of a Best Supporting Actor Award even just for this one scene alone - the one in which he tells Joe, "There's never a perfect moment. There's never a perfect show. There's never a perfect girl."
HOW DO YOU WRITE A JOE SCHERMANN SONG is a delightful film with divine music, charming performances and an affecting love story. It remains largely a hidden treasure at this moment. The audiences at Phoenix Film Festival (where the film had sold-out screenings, won the Audience Award and the Breakthrough Filmmaker Award for director King) have already found it, and hopefully the rest of the world will soon discover it too.
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