The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart (2020)

bee gees how can you mend a broken heart poster 2020 movie
8.0 Overall Score

Good story of an influential and divisive band

The brothers story is the heart of the movie and the movie is best when it explores Barry as a survivor

Movie Info

Movie Name: The Bee Gees:  How Can You Mend a Broken Heart

Studio: Diamond Docs

Genre(s): Documentary/Musical

Release Date(s):  October 8, 2020 (Miami Film Festival GEMS)/December 12, 2020 (US)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

bee gees how can you mend a broken heart young robin maurice barry gibb

Gee willikers, guys! I think we can be super if we really try!

In the early 1960s, the Beatles invasion was in full force.  With others looking on enviously and questioning why they could do the same thing, bands were popping up all over.  In Australia, Barry Gibb and his younger twin brothers Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb saw their shot.  With strong songwriting and a way to tap into the popular sound, The Bee Gees were born.  The Bee Gees were met with success and after a brief shake-up, their music became the sound of the disco generation with the release of Saturday Night Fever…but people on the top often are targeted and the Bee Gees were about to suffer a great fall.

Directed by Frank Marshall, The Bee Gees:  How Can You Mend a Broken Heart is a musical documentary on the formation and rise and fall of the musical group The Bee Gees.  The film premiered at the Miami Film Festival GEMS on October 8, 2020 and then received an internet release on HBO Max on December 12, 2020.  It received positive reviews.

bee gees how can you mend a broken heart maurce barry robin gibb

We’re pretty fly for white guys…right?

The Bee Gees have a special place for me.  When I was born, the charts were being topped by “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee and “You Should Be Dancing” by the Bee Gees.  Through the early years, the Bee Gees ruled the airwaves and I loved the disco sounds they brought…and just when I was starting to “get” music, disco ended.  For me, it just meant learning a new type of music on the radio, but for the Bee Gees, it was the destruction of a dream.

The movie follows the earliest performances of the Bee Gees which shows how different they were when they first started performing.  Yes, they were emulating the Beatles in trying to become a success, but they did have a distinct sound and they also had a great writing style which became even more evident later as they turned to writing for other artists more and more.

bee gees how can you mend a broken heart disco sucks white sox night

…and the Disco Sucks downfall

The documentary presents the story with interviews and clips of the Bee Gees performances.  The movie shows how big the Bee Gees got and how far their influence spread when they were at their peak.  The reflection of what the Bee Gees’ influence on music is of course after the fact…and after the Bee Gees suffered their biggest success and failure.

The turn comes when their popularity skyrockets again to even bigger levels with Saturday Night Fever which ultimately led to a disco backlash that was inevitably tied to the Bee Gees due to their association with the style of music.  The “fall” is rather sad and the death of younger brother Andy Gibb followed by the deaths of Maurice and Robin leave the oldest Gibb in a place of questioning and reflection without the brothers who helped him get there…it is kind of sad.

bee gees how can you mend a broken heart

The last Bee Gee standing is the oldest Bee Gee

The Bee Gees:  How Do You Mend a Broken Heart is a solid documentary about a musical group which like them or not, were a powerhouse for a period of time.  The documentary’s best moments however are when you have Barry Gibb reflecting on his life and what has been lost over the years.  The documentary would have been even better served to look in this direction even a bit more for more heart and soul…Not only did Barry Gibb lose his “coworkers”, but he lost his family…and the broken heart can’t be mended no matter how much reflection and remembrance there is.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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