So say Bon Iver had died after that one (good) record. Or say Elliott Smith had only made that early acoustic record. And then died, leaving a small body of work and a wife (Rebecca Hall, good as ever) behind to guard his legacy. And she’s trying to write a book about him but shes too close and too involved and still mourning, and she can’t do him justice, alone as she is in her rural house with the ghosts of their life together and his home-made recording studio. Then this New York intellectual professor of pop culture (Jason Sudekis) shows up, writing some arty-farty tenure application academic book, and they hate one another straight away, but she relents and asks him to write the biography for her. And he agrees, eager for a scoop and needing the money, and moves in, and of course, of course, slowly, but not too slowly, they fall for one another.
Only there’s still the ghost of that dead, seemingly perfect genius singer-songwriter, and he has his theories and her memories and the oddball eccentrics of her small town life, including her family and his life in New York, and so so many hurdles before they can be together.
Oh and it’s a gentle comedy-drama. Most of the drama coming from his one-liner responses to those small-town eccentricities and her withering contempt for his big city ways. Most of the drama from her continued grief for her dead soul mate.
The leads are appealing and believable and they make a cute couple. It’s nice. Agreeable. You could watch it on a plane. The songs – by Damien Jurado – are pretty.