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January 23, 2012

'Between Notes' Strikes the Right Chords

Indie film sort of a cross between 'Once' and '500 Days of Summer,' with lots of great music


A filmmaker named Christopher Grissom contacted me recently, saying he wanted us to check out his new movie. He said he was a Christian, and . . . Well, let's just say that we get a LOT of e-mails that start out like that, and the films themselves are often quite forgettable. But I asked him to send it along anyway.

I'm glad I did.

Between Notes, now available at Amazon.com, was a delightful surprise. Grissom accurately describes it as a "modern-day musical about two musicians who develop a relationship and have to decide whether they are falling in love with a person or an idea."

It's done reasonably well for an obviously very low-budget film. The lead actors, David Ramirez and Brandi Price, won't win any Oscars, but they bring enough life to their characters to make them interesting. But the biggest draw is the music itself. Ramirez is a professional musician whom Paste magazine calls "the best damn songwriter you don't know yet," and that's just the beginning. The terrific indie score is supplemented by great songs from Summer Ames and Becky Middleton.

The end result is something like a cross between Once (mainly for the music) and 500 Days of Summer (for the quirky romance). Grissom told me he wants to make films that are "not overtly Christian, but that point the direction to Christ." Mission accomplished.

Here's the trailer: