So, is Adam Levine any good at acting? The short answer to that question is: he's not terrible! In "Begin Again," Levine's big screen debut, he plays an artist named Dave Kohl, a vaguely self-aware douche-bag musician, who is essentially a bizarro version of Levine (rivaled within the confines of the film only by Cee Lo Green's bizarro persona, Troublegum).
Levine is featured most prominently in a flashback that contextualizes Keira Knightley's (Greta) backstory during which he is seen:
- Taking video selfies on an iPhone
- Wearing what appears to be an Adidas track jacket with a scarf
- Pairing a beanie and a pencil-thin mustache
- Telling his girlfriend he cheated on her by playing a song he wrote
- Cursing and shattering a perfectly good wine glass in the sink
As the title (and Dave's general douche-baggery implies) the film is, in part, centered on Greta finding herself and henceforth learning to "Begin Again." That's not to diminish its message: "Begin Again" tells a sweet, thoughtful story, and manages to subvert a number of romantic tropes in the process. It also allows Greta to be bestowed with a life-affirming spark that recharges Mark Ruffalo's troubled character, without rendering her a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.
At some point, after the music has been recorded -- and "Begin Again" is written and directed by John Carney of "Once," so there's some pretty solid music -- Greta revisits her toxic relationship with Dave. By that time, Levine has grown a beard that makes him look like he was lost in the dessert for at least 2,000 years (or one Coachella weekend), but he plays these latter scenes with a certain complexity -- or, at least, knowledge of the fact that he has been behaving like an ass, while still kind of being an ass.
Ultimately, he's meant to portray the Levine-esque fake rockstar of a person who further facilitates Greta's development, and he does a nice job of that. For the most part, he manages to make it feel like he is only 83 percent just playing himself. So, in conclusion: Is Adam Levine good at acting? Actually, yeah, kind of! And, as GQ asked this week, is Adam Levine a douche bag? Well, even he isn't sure about that.
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