Live at the Foxes Den: Film Review

This slight, low-key drama would probably go down better with a few drinks.

Jackson Rathbone of the "Twilight" films plays a hotshot lawyer who chucks his career to become a lounge singer in this drama with music.

As relaxing and inconsequential as whiling away an evening at your favorite tavern, Live at the Foxes Den tells the story of a young hotshot lawyer who decides that he’d be happier crooning vintage tunes at a rundown lounge. While this film starring Jackson Rathbone of the Twilight films never manages to make its central character’s existential plight dramatically compelling, it offers a relaxed atmosphere that makes it go down smoothly.

The handsome young actor plays Bobby Kelly, whose success at an L.A. corporate law firm seems assured, especially since he’s engaged to the daughter (Carly Craig) of its managing partner (Xander Berkeley). But he’s also suffered a series of recent screw-ups, and one night after working late he and a couple of associates decide to blow off steam at a rundown old cocktail lounge dubbed the Foxes Den.

There he encounters a gallery of colorful characters: Earl (Brian Doyle-Murray), the avuncular owner who’s run it for forty years; Chad (Jack Holmes, who co-write the screenplay with director Michael Kristoff), the lounge’s endlessly cynical, hard-drinking pianist; Kat (Jocelin Donahue), a barmaid with a tragic past; and longtime regulars Paul (Elliott Gould) and Tony (Bob Gunton), an elderly gay couple.

Fueled by several drinks, Bobby impulsively decides to belt out a tune, and surprises everyone, including himself, with a beautifully sung rendition of “Three Coins in the Fountain.” Several days later, he impulsively quits the law firm and becomes the lounge’s house singer, spending his nights singing pop standards. He also inevitably becomes entwined in the personal lives of his new friends, attempting to get Chad into AA and using his legal skills to help the others.

Although the film occasionally skirts with darker themes, it’s mostly pleasant and innocuous. Much of the low-key humor stems from Gould’s character who delivers an authoritative discourse on the merits of vodka over dark liquors and who also claims that Errol Flynn was his real father.

Bobby’s personal and professional crises are less interesting, although Rathbone is an appealing screen presence and displays a fine singing voice to boot. Holmes hams it up a little too much with his boozy delivery of his acerbic bon mots, but redeems himself with the several fine original songs he’s composed for the film.

(Diggit Pictures)

Production: Circus Road Films, Lockwood Pictures

Cast: Jackson Rathbone, Jack Holmes, Jocelin Donahue, Brian Doyle-Murray, Bob Gunton, Pooch Hall, Elliott Gould

Director: Michael Kristoff

Screenwriters: Jack Holmes, Michael Kristoff

Producers: Adam Gibbs, Roger Pugliese

Executive producers: Kevin Mann, Matthew Perniciaro, Peer Pedersen, Ernest Rudyak, Jackson Rathbone, Patch McKenzie

Director of photography: Rodney Taylor

Editors: David leonard, Marc Carlini

Production designer: Michael Fitzgerald

Costume designer: Sarah Trost

Composer: Jack Holmes

Not rated, 103 min.

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