Aline is a different type of a musical biopic. Freely inspired by the life of musical mega star Celine Dion, the film is a whimsical and breezy look at the pop icon. Including some of Dion’s greatest hits and some interesting casting choices, the story speeds through Aline Dieu’s career and focuses on her life.
Those expecting to see how Dion clawed her way to the top or find out salacious details will be disappointed. The film is an excellent example of how important setting expectations is when it comes to film. The plot is more of a love story more than anything else. Much like the real life inspiration, Aline falls in love with and marries her much older manager.
This provides one of the few conflicts. Naturally, her mother is hesitant about her youngest daughter becoming involved with a man who is decades older and twice divorced. In what is an odd theme in the film, the problem solves itself easily and quickly. One moment Aline’s mother is threatening to physically harm Guy-Claude; a few scenes later she is happily a part of the wedding.
It is a jarring feeling that is repeated throughout the film. Quite simply, there is very little tension. Aline easily gets signed to a record deal and her meteoric rise to superstardom is glossed over to the point that it is hard to tell it has actually happened. Even subplots involving the couple attempting to have a baby and Aline possibly losing her singing voice are resolved with little fanfare.
This bucks against conventional wisdom, yet somehow things remain engaging. Instead of forcing a conversation about inappropriate love, it tells a tale about two people how have fallen for each other. There are plenty of stories about svengalis taking advantage of their proteges. Aline is not one of them – nor should it be.
A stronger argument would be that besides being completely in love with each other, the characters have little development. She is a fantastic singer and he seems to be a smart manager – the film never broaches the subject of how much all the success is due to Guy-Claude’s business acumen versus Aline’s natural talent – but there is little else to work with. The characters are painted in very broad strokes.
In the end, the charm of the two leads and the power of their love makes Aline enjoyable. There is strong chemistry between the two and some surprising moments of humor. The plot may not follow convention, but even those who are not fans of Celine Dion will enjoy the film.
Aline comes to theaters April 8
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