Hot on the heels of music-driven flicks such as Bohemian Rhapsody and La La Land comes our very own big-screen musical, Daffodils, an adaptation of Rochelle Bright's award-winning Kiwi stage musical.
Musicals aren't my thing, but I left this celebration of our music and Kiwi-ness with a smile; it's a delightful romp through the decades and it's easy to get caught up in this bittersweet love story.
Daffodils tells the story of Rose (Rose McIver) and Eric (George Mason), who meet and fall in love in the 1950s. Their relationship survives a separation, the disapproval of Rose's parents and the challenges of being young parents - but a family secret threatens to blow their marriage apart.
It takes classic songs by artists including The Swingers, Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga and The Muttonbirds, and reimagines them into Rose and Eric's story. Like all musicals, it takes a moment to get used to actors bursting into song, but it's managed relatively seamlessly.
The story's narrated by their musician daughter Maisie (Kimbra). As she performs an intimate gig Maisie reflects on her parents' past, with the songs she performs also providing a soundtrack to her parents'' lives.
Grammy winner Kimbra is quite something; if you're not already aware of her work you'll soon be impressed. While McIver and Mason's commitment to their characters and the genre, aided by lovely chemistry, makes a strong contribution to this ambitious project.
But what really makes this a success is the music and the place it already has in our Kiwi hearts. Wondering which song comes next adds some unpredictability, and it's wonderful to see room for artists like Darcy Clay alongside superstars like Crowded House.
Daffodils is a delight.
3.5 Stars – Daffodils
Cast: Rose McIver, George Mason, Kimbra
Director: David Stubbs
Running Time: 93 mins
Rating: M (Offensive Language)
Verdict: Charming bittersweet romance.