Excerpt: Writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Secret Life of Bees”) may have borrowed from the time worn formulas of films from “A Star Is Born” to “The Bodyguard,” but her modernized throwback still feels like a breath of fresh air.
Excerpt: What sets Beyond the Lights apart from other mainstream romances—and despite the largely black cast, this film maintains an assured classic structure—is the attention to the details of the lovers’ lives and the way such now-familiar components of popular culture as paparazzi, scandal-mongering, hero worship, and image creation actually affect those who work in the public eye.
Excerpt: As she literally strips away the long colored strands of straight hair woven into her own, she symbolically reveals her true self. It’s an affecting transformation and Gugu Mbatha-Raw makes the metamorphosis seem fresh and new.
Excerpt: …this romantic backstage-drama fine-tunes and breathes fresh life into shopworn clichés in this time of social media with a realistic insider-look at fame and a believable romantic angle that actually sizzles.