Take Me Home: The John Denver Story (2000)
Take Me Home: The John Denver Story is an anomaly within the biopic genre. Following the traditional arc of an artist setting off on his own against a disapproving parent’s wishes, the early scenes of Denver pursuing his dreams and his sweetheart with equal enthusiasm recall the wholesome quality that endeared the singer to his audience. However, once the biopic approaches more familiar territory, our affinity with the singer begins to diminish. At the very point the lead character should become more recognisable, Chad Lowe’s depiction starts to resemble less John Denver and more Dana Carvey.
Similarly disconcerting is a seemingly disembodied soundtrack. While the lip syncing is serviceable, the songs never seem to be truly emanating from Lowe. More successful is the liberal use of Denver’s songbook playing over shots of glorious scenery. These scenes, devoid of dialogue, do more to explain Denver’s love of nature than any attempts by the hackneyed script.
Case in point. Denver, consoling himself with a beer, turns on wife after she informs him she knows how he feels. “Your father did not die", he screams at her. “Your record company did not dump you”. And most tragic of all… “You cut down our trees.” Then in a scene that would not have looked out of place in Mommie Dearest, Denver whispers “You want to know how I am feeling? I will show you”, before taking a chainsaw to their marital bed. Cut to next scene where a sheepish Denver, guitar in hand, informs Annie “I’ve been trying to figure out a way to tell you how sorry I am. So I wrote you a song.” She doesn't listen and neither should you.
Instead, listen to one of Denver's many greatest hits compilations, and avoid this tripe.
By the time 'The Mitchell Trio' disbanded, they had changed their name to 'Denver, Boise, and Johnson'.
Though John Denver’s song ‘Calypso’ was released in 1975, biopic shows him still composing the song after the premier of Oh, God! in 1977.
John and Annie divorced three years before RCA dropped him from their record label.
No film recreations in this biopic, though it does include a scene of Denver explaining the plot of Oh, God! to his disbelieving wife, the premier of that film and a backstage encounter of George Burns (shot from behind) passing a cigar to his co-star.