Many people under 40 may not even remember Bobby Darin, let alone know about his remarkable life story. Beyond the Sea may rectify that problem and stand as a wonderful tribute to an amazing talent who left us all too soon.
Spacey the actor bails out Spacey the director. He's been talking about his abiding love of Darin for quite some time, and he nails Darin in look, deed and buttery croon, making up for many of the film's structural deficiencies.
If Spacey's age problem proves an insurmountable distraction for literalists and Darin fans, his admirers will no doubt relish the chance to watch him sing, dance and basically take over the screen for two hours.
The one thing Spacey couldn't do for Beyond the Sea was grow younger. And that's the 'gotta-shut-your-eyes' flaw that keeps Spacey's Bobby Darin biopic from being a great movie, instead of just a good one.
The film's tortured conceit -- that a peculiarly older-than-reality Darin is making his own autobiopic, comparing memories with a kid who plays the hero as a sickly shrimp -- is its own kind of can't-look-away crazy.