Synopsis by Mark Deming
A temperamental musician is forced to learn a few things about family and responsibility in this comedy-drama from director David M. Rosenthal. Ethan Brand (Alessandro Nivola) is a veteran indie rock musician whose career is stuck in neutral, and his troubles with alcohol and bursts of anger aren't helping one bit. Before taking the stage one evening, Ethan gets an unexpected visitor -- his former girlfriend Mary Ann (Elisabeth Shue), who has brought along with her a 13-year-old girl, Janie (Abigail Breslin), who she claims is Ethan's daughter. Ethan is dubious about Mary Ann's claims, but Mary Ann takes off for a stay in rehab and leaves Janie with Ethan, forcing him to take the girl on the road with him. Ethan's manager Sloan (Peter Stormare) and his band are no happier than he is to have a young teen girl staying with them on the tour bus, and Ethan's initial relationship with the girl is chilly. But Ethan discovers the girl seems to have inherited some of his musical talent and has a real gift as a singer and songwriter. After an onstage tantrum causes Ethan to lose both his band and his record deal, he tries to salvage his concert tour by turning it into a father and daughter act, with Janie joining him on stage. Janie Jones includes original songs written for the character of Ethan by Eef Barzelay of the band Clem Snide, while Irish tunesmith Gemma Hayes wrote the songs for Janie.