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Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police: A Documentary About the Band's Third-Most-Famous Member 

Wednesday, Apr 8 2015
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Well, this is sort of the Andy Summers of rock 'n' roll documentaries. (Congratulations?) So reserved as to seem humdrum, director Andy Grieve's Can't Stand Losing You feels, unfortunately, like a solo act no one asked for. Filtered through the weakest of three of the Police's personae (Sting and Stewart Copeland declined to participate), it's the saga of an accidental New Wave trio being shepherded through the early days of MTV, selling out arenas, squabbling, and inevitably splitting up. Fans may enjoy skimming over Summers' pre-Police days as a promising yet struggling guitarist, but the cursory Can't Stand Losing You isn't especially long on musical or personal insights. Having finally zeroed in on the infectious, arpeggiated style of "Message in a Bottle" and "Every Breath You Take," Summers at the peak of his career felt he'd earned the privilege of an overseas romp with John Belushi instead of nesting at home with his own wife and kid. You know how it goes. Grieve has assembled a scrapbook of bleary old footage from concerts and interviews in which the tetchy trio sat around riling each other up. He lingers over some of the larky, arty photos Summers took on tour, but not even a subset of groupie nudes manages to spice up these proceedings much. Semi stiff voiceover readings from his memoir One Train Later make Summers sound like a hostage. Maybe he was, and still is.

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Jonathan Kiefer

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SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.

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