‘How Can You Mend a Broken Heart’: Bee Gees’ Docu Explores Group’s Highs & Lows
How deep is your love for the Bee Gees? It’s bound to grow after watching Frank Marshall’s illuminating movie biography, The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, about the Brothers Gibb — Barry and younger twins Maurice and Robin.
Justin Timberlake, one of several famous admirers weighing in, likens the power of the trio’s blended voices to “the human equivalent of a brass section.” As is too often the case in these price-of-fame chronicles, though, life wasn’t always as harmonious offstage.
Broken Heart depicts the Bee Gees riding several waves — the British invasion of the 1960s, the ’70s disco explosion epitomized by their chart-busting Saturday Night Fever soundtrack — but also clashing over who would take the spotlight, causing a two-year split in the late ’60s.
“If we hadn’t been brothers, [our career] wouldn’t have lasted half an hour,” recalls Barry, the last surviving member. (Robin and Maurice, who died, respectively, in 2012 and 2003, are heard in candid archival interviews.)
Even when fads faded and their popularity as a group waned, they kept writing songs — more than 1,000 — creating hits for Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, Céline Dion and the “Islands in the Stream” duo of Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. Their music, decades later, is timeless.
The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart, Documentary Premiere, Saturday, December 12, 8/7c, HBO