Good Vibrations is not about the Beach Boys. At all.
Instead it is a beery, warm-hearted biopic on Terri Hooley, the shaggy idealist and shambolic entrepreneur who in the mid-1970s started up a record shop (and later a plucky record label) in Belfast. Hooley, a pacifist who took no sides in the Troubles of Northern Ireland, believed in the revolutionary power of the seven-inch record and that “any proper record collection should have a track for every moment.”
The sound and energy of this likeable film is punk music. Hooley, charmingly portrayed as a laudable but flawed character by Richard Dormer, fosters a nascent scene that gave rise to the Undertones and Rudi and the Outcasts.
Rather than getting too deep into a study of Hooley, directors Lisa Barros D’Sa and Glenn Leyburn have crafted a feel-good comedy in the soulful vein of The Commitments. It’s about the beat and the community – good vibrations, to put it another way.