Have you seen the trailer for Country Strong yet, the new movie where Gwyneth Paltrow tries to convincingly portray a drunk country singer? Y’all, we have been watching it constantly this morning, partly because we’re fascinated by her accent, and partly because it’s so full of cliches we’ve been busy trying to count them all. Join us, won’t you, in bullet-pointing the predictable and cringey plot-points of this future cult classic. The one thing it has going for it is at least now when we think of Gwyneth singing, her duet of “Cruisin'” won’t be the only thing we think of anymore.
0:15 Country music star Kelly Canter is released from rehab after a bout of drunk and disorderly conduct. Hey, will she relapse, only to find redemption? I wonder!
0:32 Introduction of Kelly’s new, young rival and tourmate, Chiles Stanton played by Leighton Meester. Oh, honey Chiles. She’s the prom queen who idolizes Kelly, which can only mean she goes All About Eve on her ass.
1:13 Kelly’s back on the sauce! Kelly’s back on the sauce! Too much pressure! Too many rivalries! A cute and wise new bandmate! It’s a lot to process. In other news, do any other country singers you know have such defined abs and wear so many diamonds? That’s the Tracy Anderson/Harry Winston effect.
1:19 Punches are thrown between the wise young bandmate and Kelly’s husband! Drunk Kelly collapses in tears because she knows she’s a shell of her former self! Is she going to write a number one song like Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, or try to prove herself to her loved ones like Johnny Cash in Walk The Line? What form will her redemption take??
1:24 “This is Kelly’s last opportunity to turn things around!” says Kelly’s husband/manager Tim McGraw. Of course it is.
1:29 Wait, are they hoboes, riding a train like that? Please let there be hobo flashbacks!
1:37 You just had to bring a children’s cancer ward into this, didn’t you?
1:38 Kelly rises like a phoenix/back-lit American Idol contestant to strum her guitar in front of flags and cars to prove the old girl’s still got it.
1:59 Wait, now she’s doing a jig onstage that doesn’t match the rhythm of this song. Who edited this?
2:04 Leighton Meester shows us how it’s done with the coy-smile-turned-laugh-in-the-credits moment.
2:14 “The first time I heard you sing, I thought, that must be what angels sound like,” said Tim McGraw, who has been reading too many Nicholas Sparks novels.
2:23 Kelly tells Chiles “That’s how it’s done sweetheart,” and she and her wig walk offstage, leaving Chiles to simmer in her cowboy boots an metallic dress.
2:29 The crowd chants “Kelly! Kelly! Kelly!” and we realize that they are a metaphor for all of her relationships and that everything is going to be all right.