When the neighborhood community expresses interest in the “Sweded” films, the heroes achieve something they hadn’t sought. The locals long to be part of the movies, and they sign on as performers and spectators. Will the store’s revived popularity help save it from the wrecking ball? The silliness mounts as the “Sweded” titles multiply, until a law-enforcement official (Sigourney Weaver) arrives to put the kibosh on the operation.

The film’s conclusion, set to beautiful piano music, shifts away from the quirky humor and highlights a nostalgic love of cinema reminiscent of Cinema Paradiso. But Gondry’s film is, until then, a much more irreverent affair, sending up the not-so-sacred cows of 1980s and ’90s megahits while showcasing a fading film culture. That culture is not represented by the mainstream action/adventure and comedies that, as Fletcher comes to learn, dominate the selection at the successful video chains, but the documentaries and older movies that continue to cast their spells over viewers willing to give them a chance.

Be Kind Rewind is a hip film with a traditional message: The old ways may have to yield to the new, but sometimes we need to be reminded of the simple power of community. Be Kind Rewind does that. It won’t work for every viewer, but those who respond to Gondry’s strange style will treasure the experience.

Questions? Comments? Contact the writer at crosswalkchristian@earthlink.net.


  • Language/Profanity:  Lord’s name taken in vain; profanity; bragging about sexual exploits and lack thereof.
  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Man takes a full bottle of aspirin and urinates in public; beer consumption; it is said that a historic figure “liked to get drunk.”
  • Sex/Nudity:  None.
  • Violence:  Man is nearly electrocuted; vomiting scenes are played for laughs; character is hit in the head with a frying pan; man chokes an employee; man has his arm twisted.
  • Crime:  Graffiti/vandalism; characters break glass doors to enter a video store after hours.