Country Strong

Rated 2.0

An alcoholic country music superstar (Gwyneth Paltrow), after a public meltdown, is pulled out of rehab by her manager husband (Tim McGraw) for an ambitious comeback tour. Rounding out the cast of director Shana Feste’s soap-opera script are their respective lovers (Garrett Hedlund and Leighton Meester), both with ambitions of their own. Feste wallows in the weepy glitz of country music (What do you get when you play country backwards? You quit drinking, your dog comes home, your wife comes back, you get a job … ) without once tapping into its true grit. Paltrow’s bathetic character belies the title, and we wonder how, in all the Sturm und Drang, she found time to rehearse her allegedly knockout concert. Earnest acting helps, but the four leads are wispy clichés and other characters hardly register at all.