Soon after a rising young singer-songwriter (Hedlund) gets involved with a fallen, emotionally unstable country star (Paltrow), the pair embarks on a career resurrection tour helmed by her husband/manager (McGraw) and featuring a beauty-queen-turned-singer (Meester). Between concerts, romantic entanglements and old demons threaten to derail them all.
Country Strong is the much-ballyhooed singing debut of Gwyneth Paltrow. The story is of a country legend who’s clearly got some problems. We see her in rehab being serenaded by Beau, her supposed sponsor, who’s Garrett Hedlund that you may or may not recognize from Tron the Legacy. And then there’s another young woman who has stage fright that Beau helps through — who is Leighton Meester — who’s Chiles Stanton, who allegedly was Ms. Dallas, and has a nice voice when she gets started, but has stage fright. Then the only real singer in the group is Tim McGraw who plays her husband and manager, who’s actually the only one who can sing and doesn’t. If everybody only sang in this one everything would be okay, but unfortunately there is some alleged acting here. The story is trite, the script is awful, but the singing is fun, and I’ve got to tell you Garrett Hedlund is going to be the next new thing. This is all his movie. He’s the emotional heart of it. He’s probably the only one who has any ability to act, although mostly he just looks shell-shocked and awe-struck, but he has a nice voice. It’s popcorn January entertainment, which is not exactly high praise. I’d give it two stars mostly because of Garrett and the singing