Adaptations of Nick Hornby novels always come with some music woven into them. There was, of course, High Fidelity; there’s also About A Boy and its soundtrack composed by Badly Drawn Boy, and also its use of the excellent U2 song “Zoo Station.” Today, a new trailer dropped for Juliet, Naked, the latest Hornby screen adaptation, this time off of his 2009 novel of the same name. In it, Rose Byrne plays a woman in a long-term, dead-end relationship with Chris O’Dowd, who’s far more obsessed with a lost/obscure alt-rocker, played by Ethan Hawke, than he is with his girlfriend. As the trailer suggests, a weird turn of events leads Byrne and Hawke together, and one would imagine it grows more complicated from there.
As it turns out, the film goes beyond the music-oriented narrative and also features new music from Conor Oberst and Ryan Adams, two artists who very much make sense on the soundtrack for a Nick Hornby movie. (Robyn Hitchcock also contributed some new material.) When you think about it, the depths of anguish and romantic despair that previously characterized the careers of Oberst and Adams really set them on a somewhat inevitable path of, someday, being middle-aged and making lovelorn songs just a bit more gentle and appropriate for the rom-com context.
After all, Ryan Adams once actually appeared in a rom-com of sorts as himself. Remember that movie This Is 40, with the completely implausible scenario that Paul Rudd lived an comfortable existence all too similar to Judd Apatow’s while running a struggling record label? The big heartwarming conclusion there was when Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann went to see Ryan Adams perform, and as he sang “Lucky Now” the film exited on an awkward bit of dialogue that suggested everything would be OK because maybe Paul Rudd could sign Ryan Adams to said struggling record label. Anyway, below you can revisit that scene, and watch a trailer for Juliet, Naked — which, incidentally, does not include any of these new Ryan Adams or Conor Oberst songs but does include “Lucky Now.”
Juliet, Naked is out in August.