Live at the Foxes Den‘s heart is certainly in the right place, but its content is culled from so many different movies that it seems the end product of a particularly unfocused pitch meeting.
Director and co-writer Michael Kristoff borrows a little from All of Me (a ladder-climbing attorney dating the boss’s snooty daughter secretly yearns to be a jazz musician), a little from various John Grisham works (a defense lawyer for a greedy firm has a crisis of conscience), and most obviously from The Fabulous Baker Boys.
Only this time, instead of a sexy chanteuse striving to save a hardened, alcoholic lounge pianist from self-destruction, the would-be savior is the aforementioned lawyer, Bobby Kelly (the Twilight series’ Jackson Rathbone). Bobby ditches his job and girlfriend at a prestigious firm after the owner of the dying Foxes Den lounge (Brian Doyle-Murray) sees his impromptu performance of “Three Coins in a Fountain” and hires him to be the house singer.
It’s a classic corporate-suit-mixing-with-little-people-and-finding-himself structure, as Bobby ponders whether to stay on as club crooner or start his own practice representing the unfortunate. He also tries, in vain, to get the lounge’s wisecracking, suicidal piano player (Jack Holmes) out of his shell and into Alcoholics Anonymous.
The performances are heartfelt enough — and Rathbone can surely sing — but the only standout moments belong to Elliott Gould as a mustachioed gay regular at Foxes who regales Bobby with the virtues of vodka versus whiskey. Otherwise, Foxes‘ basic trajectory — a nice young man becomes a nicer young man — isn’t all that compelling.