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March 18, 2015

Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police

Cant_stand_losing_youCo-directors Andy Grieve and Lauren Lazin could have dug deeper than they do in this brief (79 minute) rendering of Andy Summers’s memoir of his time spent playing guitar in The Police, one of the world’s most popular bands of the early ‘80s. The rote documentary is narrated with Summers’s cliché-brained diary entry observations (“I begin photographing everything around me. I love the feel of the camera in my hand. It’s like a gun; I shoot the world, and I posses the tours in a new way.”). Cough.

Still, the movie seeps with the trio’s bizarre energy that derives from their dysfunctional relationship. 30 years later, their songs still sound great even if Sting’s pet musical tic (ee-yayo) wears thin after a while.

We get a predictable confirmation of each member’s personality through humorous and angry interviews made when the band was on top of the world. Sting comes across as an egotistical bore. Stewart Copeland is the energetic scene-stealer and musical taskmaster. Summers provides comic relief pulling faces and deflecting the avarice of two members (Sting and Steward) who can’t stand one another.

“Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police” is more for “Police” fans than it is for the uninitiated. It shows a great band that took their success, and each other, for granted. Bittersweet is one thing, but what you discover here is just bitter.

Not Rated. 79 mins. (B-) (Three Stars - out of five/no halves)

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