by Lorie Lewis Ham
Special coupon for Dinuba Platinum Theatre at the end of this review.
When I first heard that they were making a movie based on the stage musical Rock of Ages I was excited. I’ve never had the chance to see the musical and it had always sounded fun. Well Rock of Ages is just that—cheesy, campy, 80s fun.
The plot of this movie is very formulaic. Young girl, Sherrie Christian (Footloose’s Julianne Hough), leaves small town in Oklahoma and moves to Hollywood in 1987 to be a rock star. She ends up tending bar at a famous club—The Bourbon Room—on the Sunset Strip where she meets boy, Drew Boley (the debuting Diego Boneta), a wanna be rocker who works at the club. They of course fall in love and their love faces several obstacles such as jealously, misunderstandings, fame and ego.
Enter the story famous rocker Stacee Jaxx, played perfectly by Tom Cruise. Jaxx is an aging, always stoned, out of control rocker who is attempting a solo career and making his solo debut at The Bourbon Room. Things change for Stacee when he meets a Rolling Stone reporter played by Malin Akerman and actually falls in love and finds out what his slimy manager is really like.
Another side storyline is that of the club’s owner Dennis Dupree played by Alec Baldwin and his assistant played by Russell Brand. Dupree is struggling to keep his club open while a local politician’s wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is attempting to shut them down to “clean up” the strip.
There are a lot of little twists and turns to this movie, a couple of which I didn’t see coming a mile down the road. Of course everything turns out just perfect in the end for everyone. The music took me back to my youth as I recognized every single song. I don’t know if there was any auto tuning involved here—but everyone sounded pretty good. Throw in some great singing by Mary J. Blige, a cameo by Constantine (American Idol fame & original Broadway Jaxx), and Brand’s always hilarious comedy, and Rock of Ages really is the perfect guilty pleasure. My only real complaint was that Alec Baldwin as a long-haired, scruffy looking middle aged rock club owner didn’t really work for me—but his scenes with Brand were very funny.
If you’re looking for an Oscar winner you won’t find it here, but you will find a very 80s experience and some good old fashioned fun! And I have to say now that I’ve seen the movie, I’d really like to see the musical.
Check out the trailer on the movie website.
Rock Of Ages is playing just through this Thursday at Dinuba Platinum Theatres 6. Showtimes can be found on their website.