Like rock fans, country music fans respond to authenticity -- even if it’s totally faked. When Country Strong
, the sophomore effort of writer/director Shana Feste, stays inside a crumbling but not yet dead marriage, it feels like the real deal. Sadly, its cliched ending feels like the paint-by-numbers conclusion that it is.
The movie opens with country superstar Kelly Canter (Gwyneth Paltrow) being pulled out of rehab by her husband/manager, James (Tim McGraw). He wants to get her back on tour so she can rebuild her tabloid train-wreck public image. She demands they bring along Beau Hutton (Garrett Hedlund), a worker at the rehab center who is both ...