What if you worked for a music magazine where print is losing the war with digital? That’s the setup for Lucky Them, in which Ellie Klug (Toni Collette), a rock critic for a Seattle rag called Stax, must figure out her path. Her editor (Oliver Platt) thinks that one big story could halt the decline in print circulation. He wants Ellie to dig into the disappearance a decade ago of Matthew Smith, a rock idol and Ellie’s ex lover. Tired of a volatile business and the wrong younger men, all musicians, Ellie wants to hide.
Instead she hits the road with Charlie (Thomas Haden Church), a dot-com-tycoon-turned-amateur-documentarian, in search of Matthew and her own past. Haden Church gives the movie the joyous kick it needs. His flirty thrust-and-parry with Collette is beautifully played.
For all its comic and sexual energy, Lucky Them is elevated most by its touching gravity. Journalist Emily Wachtel, who wrote the script with Huck Botko, is clearly working close to her heart, with empathetic support from director Megan Griffiths (Eden), exec producer Joanne Woodward and the gifted Collette. The meeting with Matthew (a surprise cameo from a megastar) reflects music’s past and uncertain future. But for Ellie, finding strength in the broken places is her road ahead.