“Country Meh”

A wonderful cast for a middling movie

Yes, I know the movie’s title actually is “Country Strong.” But believe me, it’s really just “Country Meh.” The film is too long at almost two hours and too convoluted with its supposedly romantic story lines.

Leighton Meester (Chiles) and Garrett Hedlund (Beau) make a nice singing duo.

“Country Strong” is your typical fading, alcoholic star makes a comeback with a twist . . . but not a good-enough one for our emotional investment (no Kleenex is needed, but you will be checking your watch several times). Gwyneth Paltrow plays Kelly Canter, a country music sensation who has fallen on hard times. She gets involved with a young singer, Beau Hutton (Garrett Hedlund), who accompanies her on her comeback tour, along with former beauty queen Chiles Stanton (Leighton Meester). Real country star Tim McGraw is Canter’s husband/manager.

The best part of the movie: When Kelly Canter plays for Travis, a Make a Wish kid.

I really wanted “Country Strong” to be like “Crazy Heart,” which was a great turn-your-life-around story with country music as its background. But that’s sadly not the case. Yes, the singing is wonderful, especially Hedlund’s (he could easily become a country star), but the plot isn’t.

See “Country Strong” only for the music or just add it to your Netflix queue. It really is just country meh.

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