AIR (2008) – By Brian Morton

 Before I even start, let me just say that I’m not ordinarily a fan of musicals. Yes, I’ve seen more than my fair share, everything from Oklahoma to Flashdance to Elvis’ movies, but I can’t honestly say that any of them ever numbered among my favorites. Well, a new indie musical from Kansas, AIR, may not only have changed my mind about musicals, but might actually make the list of one of my favorite movies!

AIR follows three couples, each facing their own romantic issues, the first couple is a struggling musician and his girlfriend, the second is an office manager who’s wife left him and a waitress who’s been widowed and the third is a young couple who met during a traffic accident. Each couple is at a different stage in their relationship, the first having been together for a while and are becoming a bit stale, the second dealing with loss and grief in different ways and just meeting, and the third trying to get a relationship off the ground. Now, while this might sound like a ‘chick flick’ to you…and in many ways it is, it’s the music that keeps the story moving in unique ways. Ordinarily a movie musical drags out Cole Porter or Steven Sondheim and everyone dances in unison and the world becomes a happy place for the duration of the song, while, in AIR, the music forwards the plot while telling you about what the character is feeling at the time. All the acting is very good, but it’s the songs (and dance numbers) that really convey the emotions going on. And it’s not "Broadway" music, this is music that will remind of you groups from The Beach Boys to The Beatles to Pink Floyd! This may be one of the only indie movies I’ve seen that I’d actually love to have the soundtrack to!

Jeremy Osbern has put together a movie that you’ll really enjoy, the story moves along, the characters are all engaging and, yes, even a jaded bad movie guy, like me, was rooting for the young couple to get together at the end! And the music by Steve Unruh compliments the images and story so perfectly that it’s one of the best indie musicals I’ve ever seen! Usually, when an indie filmmaker moves into territory like this, the final product is a bit weak, but AIR is the only musical I can remember enjoying…IN MY LIFE!! You can find out more about the movie and where you can catch a screening of AIR, by heading over to the Through A Glass Productions website, Kansas has another reason to be proud, these guys are delivering some great stuff here! So, until next time, when I’ll be standing outside my wife’s window serenading here…and dodging the rocks from neighbors, remember that the best movies are bad movies.