The days of big hair, drinking binges and group sex have been mockumentaried and VH1-ed enough by now to be unworthy of serious reportage. But does that mean we must replace it with days of thinning hair, napping binges and group hugs? The closest we are allowed to an off-color moment in "Drive Well" is when lead singer Ben Gibbard reminisces about drinking one too many beers after a show and subsequently composing an extremely cheesy love song. Golly.
Maybe this is just not the kind of band to trash a hotel, but filmmakers must not assume that a popular subject is also going to be a compelling one. Bands are inherently appealing as a unit. A concert can be about the band, and a documentary can be about a concert. But a narrative film must be about interesting people. "Drive Well" tries to be more than good concert footage for fans, and that's its only mistake. Wayne Melton
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