This film is written and directed by John Carney. He has a huge talent for writing likeable and recognisable characters. All of his films have some fantastic original songs in them and this one mixes together a great 1980s soundtrack with some excellent original material.
The story is lovely, a boy forming a post-punk rock band to impress a girl who is out of his league, and to impress his stoner older brother, who he idolises. The older brother is played by Jack Reynor, who is outstanding and all but steals the show.
My one difficulty with the film was suspending my disbelief, the band became too good at playing their instruments too quickly and the happy ending was almost sad, because, as a walk off into the sunset, it was so doomed to end in disaster. This mattered because I liked everyone involved so much that I at least wanted them to have some realistic chance of success.
Having said that, this film is very enjoyable and it is rare that a writer can make you like almost everyone in a film, even the school bully.