In 1935, William and Helen Hemsley (Brian Geraghty, Amanda Crew) welcome identical twin boys into the world. But their joy is quickly tempered by a sobering realization; how could they give these children any kind of a life beyond the desperate poverty that haunted many families in the midst of the Great Depression? When evangelist Reece Wade (Ray Liotta) reveals that he and his wife Louise (Ashley Judd) cannot have children, William feels the Lord's prompting to give them one of the infant boys. Both brothers are born with passion, drive and awesome musical talent, but take very separate, yet converging paths. Drexel Hemsley (Blake Rayne) rises like a comet and changes the music world forever. His adopted brother, Ryan Wade (also played by Blake Rayne) struggles to find the purpose for his life. All the way into manhood he wrestles with pleasing Reverend Wade, his loving but controlling father, who is convinced his son Ryan is called into the ministry. Ryan is encouraged by his ...Written by
In the cemetery scene on the gravestones, Drexel Hemsley was born on February 12, 1936 and Dexter Ryan Hemsley was born on October 4, 1935 (and lived one day) but they are twins?! They should be born on the same day (or adjacent days). This is either a major prop screw up or an actual cemetery plot (legality?) and the mother was having twins but lost one child in the 5th month and successfully carried the other to term most likely with hospital involvement and not just a home setting. Regardless, these different dates do not fit the story under any scenario. It would seem like neighbors would know they had twins born on the same day. See more »
Performed by Brandon Johnson
Written by Jeff Janning, Jerry Marcellino and Yochanan Marcellino
(c) 2014 Sidtrea Music/BMI and (c) 2014 City of Peace Music/BMI (Admin. by Music Services, Brentwood, TN) See more »
Fun, Dancing, Moral Filled
This weekend is a bit slow for the movies, with more limited premiers than actual blockbusters coming out this weekend. However, there is one movie that managed to work it's way into the regular theaters to entertain the masses. My friends I'm talking about the Identical, a movie that little seem to have heard about, including this reviewer. With only a synopsis to go on, I decided to take a test drive on this movie and see what it was all about. What did it have in store? I'll be happy to tell you.
The Identical is another movie about a singing star, in this case a fictional one, and the fans who adore them. However, unlike the proceeding singer movies, like Jersey Boys and Get On Up, this movie diverges from the classical formula and instead gives it a much-needed twist. The Identical starts off with an interesting, albeit overdramatic, opening involving the separation of twin boys, setting up our tale. From there the story focuses on the brother who gets separated, centering on his life as his brother's journey to stardom unfolds. In the shadow of his unknown, though obviously identical, brother Ryan Wade (Blake Rayne) strives to find his place in the world. From boyhood to late adult hood, the audience gets to see Ryan's life develop, going through struggles that his family provides him with in the pursuit of his dream. For once things don't happen overnight, we get to see the gradual rise to fame as Ryan's character develops, and his morals change, kind of like life. Yet throughout the journey, we get to see glimpses of his brother, who also makes great strides to fame, further firing the forge of hope within Ryan. Due to the similarities, Ryan begins to be mistaken for his brother, that sets him on the path to entertaining.
Now this is where the story gets a little hard to swallow, in the fact that nobody put two and two together. Sure, there are imitators who can pull it off, but in the era this movie takes place in surely there could have been a connection of brothers. The amazing fame he gets by being an impersonator was a bit over exaggerated, though in this day and age I can't say it is too far-fetched. Regardless, the coincidental twin thing is reminiscent of the Parent Trap films, though without the fun little pranks. Instead the hijinks are replaced with inspiring morals that are meant to drive you own desire to achieve in life. The underlying theme for Ryan is finding the place he fits in and doing what he loves. In the iconic hero role, Ryan has all the aspects we strive to have, doing things because he likes them, not because of the rewards he can get from them. Such actions are noble, and qualities we can all stand to learn. While some of the scenes are played up, and dare say it preachy, overall the tale is rather inspiring and entertaining. For this reviewer, it was nice to see a singing star actually enjoy his career instead of becoming a pawn to the mayhem of the fame.
However, the thing that really made this movie come to life was the way it was presented. It starts with the main actor Blake Rayne, who's ability to play two characters was rather well done. Yes, one character was essentially low key, but Rayne does a nice job playing the emotional scale. His country twang with his pure, and noble qualities make for a delightfully, positive character that you root for. I felt pure joy watching his journey, hoping only the best would come his way, as his friendly and loyal attitude radiated from him. Then throw in the singing and dancing he have interspersed throughout the movie and you get some toe tapping, upbeat numbers. Yes, these numbers are knock off versions of Elvis songs, in both look and sound, but I think most people will find the numbers entertaining and quite uplifting. The combination of all these qualities makes for a well rounded character that kept me interested the whole time in following his life. Again, there are no flashy tricks, or big time budgets, just some simplistic story telling, and good fun without being too overdone. As for the rest of the cast, they are a great support for Rayne, each character playing an integral part in his life that both challenge and excite him. Of the entire cast, my favorites were Ashley Judd and Erin Cottrell the leading ladies bringing some sass and grounding to the drama. Judd is still as lovely as ever, and is a bridge between rational decision and passion that helps keep Rayne's one character in line. As for Cottrell, her role as the love interest helps drive Rayne's character to takes some big risks, not only driving the story, but also helping to break away from the conservative nature of the rest of the characters.
The Identical is a very fun and passionate film that drives people to shoot for the stars and keep your morals. With great chemistry, fun classic numbers, and a twist to the typical singer story, it's one of the better dramas I have seen in a while. Yes it is a bit preachy, and it does have it's overdone moments, but for the most part this movie has a positive atmosphere with it. It does lack comedy, and originality, but hey, a movie can't have everything perfect about it. So would I recommend this movie? Yes, it was a fun end of the summer film, though I recommend it more as a date night/ girls night out movie if you are going to see it in the theater. Definitely rent it at your home though and enjoy the wholesome adventure.
My scores for the Identical:
Drama/Music: 8.0 Movie Overall: 7.5-8.0
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