The life of Terri Hooley, famed for discovering and promoting The Undertones, Rudi and The Outcasts, comes to the big screen in this BBC Films biopic.
The film charts Hooley’s journey from record shop owner to music producer against the backdrop of 1970s Belfast and the Troubles.
Hooley (Richard Dormer) is affectionately portrayed as a slightly bumbling, optimistic figure driven solely by a desire to help the bands who flock to him, an approach which prevents him from ever really profiting from their success.
Despite a suitably energetic soundtrack, Good Vibrations is surprisingly pedestrian in narrative.
Time and again the film feels as if it’s only hinting at some remarkable and potentially unbelievable stories, diluting them to fit the standard ‘feel good’ movie template.
I left the screening feeling that such a colourful and unconventional figure deserved his story to be told by a large, vibrant film that would be impossible to ignore – much like the music he helped bring to the world.
Instead we get a sort of Kinky Boots Factory approach – man has idea, man suffers knock backs implementing idea, man eventually has success, suffers further knock back before ultimately being feted.
And in the end that’s just not enough.
Our verdict: 2.5/5
Good Vibrations is showing as part of the 56th BFI London Film Festival. Visit bfi.org.uk/lff for screening details and booking info.