Surprisingly, the tragedy of Song Sung Blue isn’t the sight of audiences going apeshit over a cheesy Neil Diamond tribute act named Lightning & Thunder. Yes, it’s easy to imagine that the dudes babbling about how much they love Mike (Lightning) and Claire (Thunder) Sardina are probably drunk. And it’s definitely cringe-inducing when the husband and wife bring out a game but slightly embarrassed-looking Eddie Vedder to sing “Forever in Blue Jeans” with them at Milwaukee’s 1995 Summerfest. But as much as you may find Mike a little creepy (just wait for the torso shots of him stumbling around in gigantic, not-so-tightie whities) and both of them delusional (he may be a decent impersonator, but she’s far from the advertised second coming of Patsy Cline), you can’t help but feel for these people as they doggedly struggle to make it big well past the age when anyone usually does. Working with eight years of footage, director Greg Kohs captures an unfathomable number of setbacks in the couple’s lives, including accidents, addictions, money problems, and a household (they have two kids) in which screaming is the predominant form of communication. Kohs isn’t great about context, and the film’s biggest failing is the distracting lack of a timeline—it’s not until later in the doc, for instance, that we find out the year of the couple’s Vedder encounter. But though the narrative is imperfectly told, Kohs achieves the nearly impossible: Eventually, you stop snickering at the Sardinas’ trailer-trashness and empathize with the humanity beneath their glitter. —TO