Movie Review: Andy Summers’ Documentary ‘Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police’

By Bill Dudley

Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving The Police is the new film that documents the rise and fall of one of the 1980’s biggest bands. The film is based on Andy Summer’s recent 2007 memoir “One Train Later,” a 300 page book.

Formed in England in 1977, The Police were three artists who all had been with previously unsuccessful bands in the past. This was about to change when The Police broke through with a Sting penned song “Roxanne.”

The Police were labeled as (or mis-labeled) as Reggae, Punk, Pop, Rock, even Blues or Jazz by some critics. Five albums and a dozen hit singles later, they dissolved away, after their biggest success “Every Breath You Take,” from the final album “Synchronicity.” Considered their best work, the band wasn’t even on speaking terms, recording their parts in three separate rooms for months.

Guitarist Andy Summers was a good 10 years older than drummer Stewart Copeland and lead singer Sting. It is Andy’s archival footage and photography from the early days right on up through their final tour in 2007-2008, including an appearance at Dodger Stadium, that documents the machinations of this talented yet complex trio.

From dying their hair blonde in the beginning to the on camera rivalries and battles at the end, it is all there. With Sting rising to become a superstar, this caused great problems for such a talented line-up.

One of the highlights of the film is Andy walking into a karaoke bar in Tokyo during their farewell tour and joining an unknowing patron singing “Every Breath You Take.” Summers describes the making their final album as “mud dropping to the bottom of the glass.”

The final tour featured 151 shows worldwide, taking in 362 million dollars, the third highest grossing tour of all time to that point. How they got through it without killing each other is amazing.

Can’t Stand Losing You is from the perspective of only one of the three, but Andy said both Sting and Copeland were on board for all the video, flattering or not. Sting fans might not like some elements of the documentary, but they will still love Sting.

Andy’s wife and children are featured throughout the movie. He is currently doing photography exhibits, and playing Jazz. Copeland and Sting have both been in recent films, and Sting is still touring with Paul Simon.

Can’t Standing Losing You: Surviving The Police opens in select Los Angeles theaters April 3rd (click here for locations). Watch the trailer below.

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