23 January 2013 9:22 AM, PST | HollywoodChicago.com | See recent HollywoodChicago.com news »

Chicago – Amiable charm compensates for scattershot laughs in Ryan O’Nan’s directorial debut, “Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best.” There’s an undercurrent of tangible warmth that reverberates beneath O’Nan’s awkward assemblage of quirky gags and self-consciously clever dialogue. Though I spent much of the film on the fence, it eventually won me over.

There are few things more thrilling to watch in a film than two strangers connecting through their shared passion for music. That’s what happened in John Carney’s 2006 masterpiece, “Once,” as Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová brilliantly portrayed the spontaneity of an unrehearsed musical performance—allowing the Oscar-winning tune, “Falling Slowly,” to organically unfold before the audience like a blooming flower.

DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0

A similar sort of magic occurs about a half-hour into “Brooklyn Brothers,” as mismatched duo Alex (O’Nan) and Jim (Michael Weston) start to perform a tune while driving to their next gig. »

- adam@hollywoodchicago.com (Adam Fendelman)

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