A Perfect Chord: Don’t Be Afraid (Movie Review)

John FarrellBy John Farrell4 Minutes

In my forty-plus years, I’ve been in a lot of plays for several community theaters. I’ve been cast as leads, supporting roles, cameos, comic relief, and almost everything in between. I’ve even landed roles with solos … that were unceremoniously (and wisely) stripped from me when the director realized I couldn’t carry a note in a bucket.

Through the years, I’ve probably done more than 50 shows (if you count live readings, one acts, and 10 minutes) and I’d be lying if I said I never got stage fright or nervous. In fact, I can’t remember one production or performance where I didn’t have massive butterflies the size of an SUV viciously fluttering about in my stomach. My fears always manage to get the best of me right before the opening curtain.

Over the years; however, I’ve learned to overcome my fears and ignore the discomfort. I also know now that as soon as I get onto the stage and get my first line out of the way, that fear quickly dissipates. The worst part is the anticipation, the waiting. Once you’re on stage, there’s no turning back. There’s also no better feeling than coming off the stage after a performance knowing that you nailed it.

In the 2015 film, A Perfect Chord, Cadence (Malia Flack) has a similar fear of performing, albeit her fear is more pronounced than mine. Unlike me, she has a beautiful singing voice and is just as skilled at playing the guitar. In addition to her God-given talents, her parents (Mike and Katie Flack) own a recording studio where she can record a song any time she wants.

The problem is Cadence’s debilitating fear that manifested itself in her after fainting from stage fright when she was younger. Now, she only plays music by herself after school in the music room, and the only person she can play for is her best friend Lizzy (Avery Noel). She doesn’t even play for her parents.

Cadence has to face her fear of playing for someone other than Lizzy when they spy on Mika (Elina Odnoralov), a new girl at school, who is an excellent pianist and singer. Mika is also struggling with her own performance anxieties; however, her fears stem from the lofty expectations that come with being born into a musically gifted family (e.g., her brother is a prodigy who was just accepted to Julliard to study piano).

Lizzy, being the eccentric and sometimes annoying best friend that everyone needs, pops out of their hiding space to introduce Cadence and herself to Mika. Of course, Mika is creeped out that they were spying on her, but after everything is smoothed over Cadence and Mika sing together. Eventually, Mika becomes best friends with Cadence and Lizzy.

Playing for Lizzy and Mika is one thing, but when Lizzy, who has no musical ability, signs up Cadence and Mika for an open mic night, that’s another thing entirely. Perhaps rightfully so, Cadence is upset that Lizzy would do this knowing her fear.

Will Cadence finally conquer her fear of performing in front of others? Does Mika ever confront her parents about their expectations of her growing up in such a talented family?

A Perfect Chord is a charming film with a nice message and sweet soundtrack that will make you smile. It is perfect for the entire family to watch together.