One of the things that partly excuses the movie's mush is that it's a kind of musical.
Danny Collins is the cinematic equivalent of a well-sung easy rock tune, enjoyably light and bouncy, with some darker notes hidden within the chords.
For his directorial debut, Fogelman puts all the right people together, and what's more, gets a performance out of Pacino that's one of his best-ever comic turns.
Pacino's exuberance rescues Dan Fogelman's directing debut from the schematic snares in Fogelman's script.
It's never dull to watch pros like Pacino, Bening, Plummer, Garner and Cannavale interact - this is dream casting - and the film makes the most of that, along with a pleasingly comprehensive Lennon soundtrack.
Comedy, pathos, and some schmaltzy couplets about the changing seasons follow forthwith.
Like its hero, the movie is flawed, but hard to resist.
The lesson of this likable little movie is that it's never too late to reclaim your integrity.
There's a kind of modest American comedy that's so keenly done that you don't bother resisting. All the details feel exactly right for that particular story and those characters. It just works. Right away, you can tell that Danny Collins is working.