Mo Summers
Andy Summers is the man behind Can't Stand Losing You. Credit: Mo Summers

Guitarist Andy Summers narrates Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police. Based on his memoir One Train Later, the doc examines the fast rise and even faster breakup of the band, while also spending time on the successful, and all too short, reunion in 2007-2008.

You’ll walk away from this film knowing that Sting, drummer Stewart Copeland and Summers are all kind of miserable when they are around each other. Another thing you walk away knowing: The band wouldn’t have worked any other way. They were the band they were because they fought a lot, and it fueled their sound. Had they been all chummy, they probably would’ve been super boring, like much of the Sting solo crap.

Summers is a great host as he recaps the hell that was The Police, from their impoverished 1970s days touring the U.S. through their final normal concert in March 1984, and ultimately through their tension-filled reunion.

As a fan, I’ve always been pissed because they broke up. However, after watching this movie, I can now truly understand why these guys need extended breaks from each other.

Sting has to be the most arrogant asshole to ever call himself a rock star. Copeland seems to enjoy driving Sting crazy by being a prick. Summers, for the most part, is the quiet one—but he does manage to be quite the smart aleck at times.

It’s undeniably fun to watch, especially in moments like the ones during which Sting threw a beer at Copeland and abruptly ended an MTV interview. Fans of The Police will be happy to know that much of their music is highlighted in the film, along with plenty of live performances.

When it comes to The Police, many of the past documentaries and films have focused on Sting, with Copeland secondary and Summers just off in the background. In many ways, this film is as much a doc about Andy Summers as a doc about the band. That winds up being a very cool thing.

Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police opens Friday, April 17, at the Cinémas Palme d’Or (72840 Highway 111, Palm Desert; 760-779-0730).