Country Strong – Gwyneth Paltrow’s country singer gets by on a diet of booze and corn

Country Strong - Gwyneth Paltrow

Looking toned and glowing on screen, Gwyneth Paltrow is a poster girl for the virtues of yoga and a macrobiotic diet – which makes her far too healthy-looking to convince as the troubled, booze-sodden singer at the heart of sudsy romantic melodrama Country Strong.

Dripping in diamonds and giving off a distinct cougar vibe, Paltrow’s country music superstar Kelly Canter is first encountered lounging in a rehab facility with hunky, guitar-twanging orderly Beau (Tron’s Garrett Hedlund). He’s been twanging her heartstrings too, until her manager/husband James (Tim McGraw) hauls her out of rehab prematurely for a trio of career saving concert dates.

Will Kelly pull herself together to pull off the concerts? Or will the pressures of the tour and memories of a tragic episode from her past send her into a Britney-style meltdown?

Country Strong - Gwyneth Paltrow & Tim McGrawCountry Strong - Garrett Hedlund & Leighton Meester

And who will end up in whose bed – given that Beau and peachy-keen beauty-queen-turned-singer Chiles Stanton (Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester) have both got supporting slots on the bill?

Borrowing liberally from the plots of A Star is Born and All About Eve, writer-director Shana Feste (maker of 2009 weepie The Greatest) plays things straight. “Love and fame don’t mix,” is her film’s message, and she isn’t afraid of deploying time-honoured cliché or clumsily obvious symbolism to get it across.

Feste signposts what’s in store when Beau gives Kelly an injured fledgling in a box (but it’s James who ends up caring for the fragile bird). It’s all decidedly mawkish but the cast deliver their songs with gusto – though it seems perverse that out of the leading quartet it’s genuine country star McGraw who’s been cast in the only non-singing role.

On general release from 25th March.

“Compare & Contrast bore Couch Potato on the Country Strong soundtrack”

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One Response to Country Strong – Gwyneth Paltrow’s country singer gets by on a diet of booze and corn

  1. Jacinda says:

    In reply to:
    Looking toned and glowing on screen, Gwyneth Paltrow is a poster girl for the virtues of yoga and a macrobiotic diet – which makes her far too healthy-looking to convince as the troubled, booze-sodden singer at the heart of sudsy romantic melodrama Country Strong.

    What??? She is the poster girl for an eating disorder if anything…
    She is not healthy looking at all. She looks like she starved herself for a ballet session. But you’re right: she was not “fit” for this role. Nothing about her appears strong or country.

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