I Used to Be Famous Film Review: Netflix 2022 Movie

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I Used to Be Famous: A Story of Redemption

I Used to Be Famous is an emotionally gripping film that explores the transformative power of friendship and music. Adapted from an award-winning short film, this captivating story follows the journey of Vince Denham, a former boyband member played by Ed Skrein. Set in the vibrant streets of Peckham, London, the film depicts Vince’s desperate search for a second chance in the music industry, years after his fame had faded away.

A Chance Encounter

Vince’s life takes an unexpected turn when he encounters Stevie, a young autistic drummer portrayed by Leo Long. Stevie’s remarkable talent and unwavering passion for music reignite Vince’s longing for the limelight. Despite facing countless rejections, Vince believes he can guide Stevie to stardom and offers his help in achieving the boy’s dreams.

However, it is Stevie who ends up teaching Vince invaluable lessons. Through their unlikely friendship, Vince realizes that fame isn’t the ultimate goal, but rather the profound connection that music creates between people. Despite years of alienation caused by his former fame, music proves to have the power to heal, unite, and bring joy even in the most trying times.

An Uplifting Journey

For those who enjoyed films like Blinded by the Light (2019) and Yesterday (2019), I Used to Be Famous is a must-watch addition to your Netflix queue. Similar to these titles, the film infuses musical numbers into the backdrop of British streets, providing an escape from the mundane realities of everyday life. Eddie Sternberg’s debut feature strikes the perfect balance between humor and heartfelt moments, taking viewers on an emotional rollercoaster ride.

Ed Skrein delivers a standout performance as Vince Denham, shedding his tough exterior to reveal a character burdened by regret and grief. Vince’s pursuit of his long-lost stardom becomes a coping mechanism for the void left by his deceased brother. Alongside Skrein, Leo Long shines in his on-screen debut, portraying Stevie as a representative of the neurodivergent community. The film’s decision to showcase neurodivergent characters is a commendable step towards inclusivity and challenges societal prejudices.

A Missing Musical Element

While I Used to Be Famous captivates audiences with its emotional depth, it lacks the memorable musical numbers characteristic of similar genre films like Begin Again (2013) and Sing Street (2016). These films masterfully integrate their soundtracks as narrative tools, enriching the messages and struggles of their protagonists. The songs leave a lasting impact, embedding themselves in playlists for years to come. In contrast, although Vince and Stevie’s band, ‘The Tin Men’, performs a song dedicated to Vince’s late brother, it fails to deepen our understanding of Vince’s grief.


I Used to Be Famous may not be groundbreaking, but its compelling narrative and relatable characters make it an enjoyable watch for anyone seeking an uplifting story of redemption. In an era where fame often carries a heavy price, this film reminds us of the enduring power of friendship, the healing qualities of music, and the importance of embracing second chances.

FAQs about I Used to Be Famous

1. Is I Used to Be Famous based on a true story?

No, I Used to Be Famous is a fictional story adapted from an award-winning short film.

2. How does the film portray neurodivergent characters?

I Used to Be Famous introduces a neurodivergent character, Stevie, portrayed by Leo Long. By showcasing diverse characters, the film challenges stereotypes and promotes inclusivity in the entertainment industry.

3. Does the film have a message beyond fame and redemption?

Yes, while the film explores themes of fame and redemption, it also emphasizes the transformative power of music in bringing people together and healing emotional wounds.

4. How does I Used to Be Famous compare to other music-centered films?

Unlike other films in the genre, I Used to Be Famous may not have as many catchy musical numbers. However, it compensates with its compelling narrative and well-developed characters, making for an emotionally engaging experience.

5. Where can I watch I Used to Be Famous?

I Used to Be Famous is available to stream on Netflix worldwide, ensuring audiences from various regions can enjoy this heartfelt tale of redemption.