This one went under the radar in my neck of the woods, so I didn’t see it until it came up on the HBO line-up. It looked a little silly, Tom Cruise, rock star? But it was actually a LOT of fun!
I’m a major Julianne Hough fan, even though I’ve hardly seen anything she’s done, she is so adorable and funny, she won me over just in snapshots and glimpses here and there. So that’s one. Two, I may be one of the last few Tom Cruise megafan holdouts because I don’t hold the scientology bullshit or the Oprah interview or the weird marriage against him. So yeah, Tom Cruise, rock star, I may not buy it straight out, but I’m up for checking it out.
This is not 70s rock, so if you’re a diehard classic rock fan, dating back to Zeppelin, Hendrix, Aerosmith, Rolling Stones, etc., this movie is geared more toward popular hits from the 80s, but it is definitely rock and not pop or disco or anything. Poison, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi–hair bands abound. In a good way. The music numbers are all very familiar songs that you probably know all the words to. The music makes the movie worth watching. Very danceable and fun to sing along with.
The story is way predictable, but singing along with some of your favorite actors makes it easier to set that aside. Aside from Cruise and Hough, you’ve got Malin Akerman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, and even Bryan Cranston! The songs are all very well-chosen and the actors (including Cruise!) do their own singing.
The story circles around Drew (Diego Boneta) and Sherrie’s (Hough) romance and the potential end of Stacee Jaxx’s (Cruise) career, with songs throughout illustrating the scenes and circumstances. But the story also witnesses the cultural shift of the industry’s desire for rap and popular music instead of the rock music of decades past. Diego gets caught up in it first hand, while Stacee’s career is flickering away because of it. Still, nobody puts on a show like Stacee Jaxx!
I dropped it one for the cheesiness, but I thought it was supremely entertaining. I can see why lots of people wouldn’t like it, but it has a pretty wide appeal for anyone who’s not a movie snob.
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