New York Times: "‘Shoplifters of the World’ Review: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do" (March 25, 2021)

New York Times review:

‘Shoplifters of the World’ Review: Breaking Up Is Hard to Do​

Four friends process the breakup of their musical idols, The Smiths, in this gentle tale of teenage self-discovery.

By Jeannette Catsoulis
March 25, 2021

“Shoplifters of the World,” a loving gift to superfans of the English band The Smiths, is, we are told at the beginning, “based on true intentions.” I can’t argue with that: Written and directed by Stephen Kijak (who made the fantastic 2008 documentary “Scott Walker: 30 Century Man”), this sweetly nostalgic look at lost boys and lonely girls feels like it comes straight from the heart.

It’s the summer of 1987 and four friends in Denver, Colo., have just learned that their favorite band, The Smiths, has broken up. Like their idols, the teens are romantic and earnest, confused and occasionally pretentious. Cleo (Helena Howard), weary of her supermarket checkout job, dreams of escaping to France; Sheila (Elena Kampouris) desperately wants to consummate her relationship with the adamantly celibate Patrick (James Bloor); and Billy (Nick Krause) might be using his imminent Army training as more escape than destination.

As the four embark on a night of mournful partying and mild self-discovery, the nonstop Smiths soundtrack is provided by a local radio D.J. (an amusing Joe Manganiello) whose metal marathon has been hijacked at gunpoint by another grieving fan (Ellar Coltrane).

“This music is salvation,” he tells the D.J., who will, of course, be grudgingly converted.

Shot in 2018 and inspired by a mischievous urban legend, “Shoplifters” is a Smithstopia of song titles, lyric fragments and scraps of band interviews that infest the movie’s dialogue and production design. But even if you can’t tell Morrissey from Macklemore, don’t be put off: This is a tender story of teen ennui that almost anyone can enjoy. Though probably not metalheads.
 

RobLand

Visitor since 1997
Is this only playing in LA and NYC? I can't find a theater anywhere near me that will be showing this (Atlanta, Charlotte, Greenville, etc). I'd really like to see it on the big screen
 

The Wild Turkey

Wild T!
Turkerator
“based on true intentions.”
Hahaa. That's how they went ahead and got around it.
Ya gotta giv'em credit for at least acknowledgin' it.
 
P

PassoliniIsMe

Guest
Is this only playing in LA and NYC? I can't find a theater anywhere near me that will be showing this (Atlanta, Charlotte, Greenville, etc). I'd really like to see it on the big screen
I think it's on HBO Plus and Amazon Prime....
 
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