Why we’re excited about the Beach Boys biopic, Love & Mercy

During my childhood, I have vivid memories of road trips with an old-school rock & roll soundtrack. My dad would create a mix of the songs he loved as a kid, and the Beach Boys made up a good chunk of that. Since Nowhere Boy a few years ago, I have been waiting for this movie, Love & Mercy, a biopic of the great Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson.

But, I only just found out about it while surfing Youtube in one of those searches that turns into five hours of your life. Youtube videos are basically a gateway drug. One video leads to another. Turns out Love & Mercy comes to theaters today. Yep: June 5. Today.

Paul Dano and John Cusack give a dual performance as Brian Wilson, Paul tackling the younger Wilson and John acting as present day Wilson.. Both are fantastic actors who have a track record of giving subdued, courageous performances. Wilson himself lauded the film, saying in an in an interview with GQ that the film is, “Very accurate” and that both Cusack and Dano, “captured [him] very well.” In the major supporting roles are Elizabeth Banks and Paul Giamatti, two very strong actors in their own right. Yeah, I’m already sold.

I grew up listening to the Beach Boys: “I Get Around,” “California Girls,” and “God only Knows.” I am a California girl after all. From their sunny, beautiful music, you might have no idea of the kinds of serious struggles that Brian Wilson and his brothers went through. Wilson went through years of struggling with drugs and alcohol, as well as grappling with an extremely rocky relationship with his father. He also spent a great deal of time struggling with pyschotherapist Dr. Eugene Landy, played in the film by Giamatti, who has been accused of brainwashing and drugging Wilson, and benefitting from an extremely shady business relationship between the two of them.

In a recent interview with The LA Times, Cusack was asked about playing these tough issues. He says, “I think it was just terrible, unimaginable abuse and manipulation of this man. But there’s a part of him that’s a tough dude. He’s a survivor. Think about all the people from the ’60s, think of people who would still be going out today and touring, and be happy, with a family? He’s still going.”

With Wilson giving it his seal of approval, I’m confident this film is going to not only an amazingly factual biopic, but a worthy tribute to a band that mean so much to so many people, myself included. Also, it doesn’t hurt that their music is amazing!

You can watch the trailer below. I swear I won’t judge you if you pressed repeat because you wanted to hear “God only Knows” again. I may or may not have just done that myself…

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