REEL REVIEWS: '80s returns for Rock of Ages
Sherrie is just a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world. She took the midnight bus goin’ to L.A.
Drew is just a city boy, born and raised, we don’t know where. He worked the midnight hour in the Bourbon room.
After just arriving in Los Angeles and having her LP’s stolen, Sherrie (Julianne Hough) is rescued by Drew (Diego Boneto) and is offered a job at the world renowned Bourbon Room. She repays the favour by teaching Drew how to overcome his stage fright, and gets him the opening gig for rock group Arsenal, led by singer Stacie Jaxx (Tom Cruise).
Will Sherrie and Drew make it big in Hollywood? Can their love survive show business? Can Tom Cruise sing? We sing, put another dime in the jukebox, baby.
HOWE: Okay, I can’t fight this feeling anymore. I loved it. But, then again, I’m a sucker for musicals. Anything from Gene Kelly in Anchors Aweigh to Tim Curry in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I had a blast, it felt like a 80’s rock concert.
TAYLOR: I’m not a fan of musicals, despite being a fan of music. I grew up in the time these songs came out. I enjoy duet, harmony and medleys. So I guess I’m mathematically disposed to approve of this film. That is to say, I don’t want to enjoy, yet I must. It was loud, raucous, raunchy, sexy, sweet and stupid; exactly as it should be. It’s rock ’n’ roll. It’s sweaty.
HOWE: The story was laid out great, the acting and singing (although a little ropey at times) was good and the songs that they chose were fantastic. I caught myself a few times tapping my foot and singing along to them.
TAYLOR: Really? You sang along? I saw some people nodding their heads. I smiled a lot. There were some very exuberant young women in the row in front of us. I was surprised by some of the singing, Tom Cruise was extremely acceptable. Others might have been a bit more amateur. Julianne Hough, for instance, sings like a very sexy baby (that’s not a good thing). For the most part, I wasn’t put off, despite the feast of corndogs.
HOWE: Catherine Zeta Jones was great as the goodie two shoes wife of the mayor. The chemistry between Alec Baldwin and Russel Brand was funny and at times very moving.
TAYLOR: Moving? I don’t think we’ll be handing out any Oscars on this one, or Grammys or Tonys, for that matter. It had a cliché plot, overacting and pines for a time many of us would rather just forget. Yet, despite my hating musicals, I can’t help but like this movie. It fit me like a pair of 501’s, pinch rolled, of course.
HOWE: In the end, Rock of Ages is a fun movie. Grab your headscarf, your Def Leppard T-shirt and rock out.
Taylor gives Rock of Ages three pairs of leather pants out of five. Howe gives it four scarfed mic stands out of five. Rock of Ages is currently playing at the Pen mar Cinema Centre.
Brian Taylor and Peter Howe are movie reviewers that live in the Okanagan.