'The Sapphires' Will Put a Smile on Your Face

Peter Travers says soul-music period piece has winning energy

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There's been a lot of hate coming from Peter Travers lately. Not that this is peak movie season, but this week on At the Movies our fearless critic has found a movie that he's at least "in like" with. The Sapphires stars an excellent Chris O'Dowd (Bridesmaids, Girls) who showcases his versatility as a drunken Irishman stumbling about Australia when he happens upon a girl group in a bar. Set in the Sixties and based on a true story, O'Dowd's character starts managing the group, and they win a gig to perform for U.S. troops in Vietnam.

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Despite the amazing story, the film falters a bit with weak transitions and some overly sentimental moments. "But this music!" exclaims Travers. "Can you hear Motown now in your head? 'Cause I can. I can just hear that sound. These girls get out there and entertain these troops and you can't stop but being happy. It just puts a smile on your face that you can't wipe off."

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