You don't have to be country to love country. Even if you never lived in a trailer, had a daddy in prison and a mommy who's drunk, you can identify with the struggle to survive and thrive in a cold world.
In "Country Strong," Gwenyth Paltrow is Kelly Canter, a country star with a prodigious talent, marred by a hard-scrabble childhood and recent tragedy. She's plucked from rehab by her manager/husband to go on tour. But is she ready?
Sound predictable? Well, not so much. But the Movie Slut never gives away the end.
The strength of this two-tissue-box movie is that audiences really care about the characters. Not only Kelly, but her husband, her lover, and her competition. All of these people are flawed. No good guys or villains, here. Just folks leading messy lives. Most of us can relate to that.
And Paltrow's singing is superb. Don't listen to that snarky New York Times review.