By: Addison Wylie
Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police has the novelty of guitarist Andy Summers reading his memoir to which this film is based on. The audience watches Andy Grieve expansive documentary with full investment, but the experience feels more like a tell-all with a legend.
Summers takes us on his journey beginning with his dog days of cutting his teeth in the music industry. He glides through his past roles in other bands including a wild trip through his psychedelic phase – an almost obligatory move in these type of rock docs.
Through more interesting content, movie goers finally witness the collaboration between Andy and future The Police bandmates Stewart Copeland and Sting. The exclusive backstage footage and tattered interviews show viewers how an enthusiastic passion for transgressive music was morphed into another kind of monster. The constant media coverage seemed as if it was only present to puff up Sting’s image – to make him an even bigger star. Meanwhile, the dynamic shifts with Copeland and Summers growing more jaded after dealing with tiring gigs and pushy journalists.
Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police is a bit too jumpy for its own good, showing audiences how relationships have changed throughout the years despite the musicians’ affection for their music holding strong. However, the detail in Summers’ retelling truly shows the underside during interviews that were considered to be strange and quirky at the time. Movie goers are also granted access to some magical moments, such as Summers’ spontaneous involvement in a karaoke bar and the conception of Sting’s Roxanne on a solitary night. Additional kudos goes to co-director Lauren Lazin for her exciting concert footage.
Andy Grieve’s Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police is a faithful and fascinating adaptation of Andy Summers’ chaotic career.
Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police receives an exclusive theatrical run at Toronto’s Market Square Cinema on May 1. Grieve’s documentary hits On Demand, DVD, and Blu-ray on July 14.