Directed by Adam Shankman
Starring Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin and Tom Cruise
Because it was based on the 80s metal scene and music I wanted to love the film, I say love because I enjoyed it and liked a few things on it, but a lot did not work. Looking through the songs included in the Broadway show that was left out, I have to wonder why so many were left out and why maybe it was to make the film shorter.
The film begins with Sherrie arriving in Hollywood in pursuit of a singing career. Following that we meet Drew, lead singer in a band, working in the Bourbon club as a waiter. Outside the club Drew and Sherrie meets and begins to see each other. Both share their hopes of making it in the music industry while they work in the club. The story centers around them and the club owner who needs the concert from the band Arsenal to make a lot of money to stay afloat. The enemy in the film is the wife of the mayor who wants to close the sunset strip and has something against rock and roll.
I was seeing the film today after a while without seeing it and I kept thinking the same thing, I wanted to like it. I think of a film like Mama Mia that it is obvious they wrote the story around the songs that existed on the ABBA catalog, they changed a few lyrics here and there but not much. In this story, the same would have to be applied to build a story around the songs they wanted to use. In Mama Mia, it felt more natural the flow between the story and the songs, and it has nothing to do with the songs or the actors, I think the script was better adapted from the play. The fact that there is dancing in some of the scenes turned me off a bit, that did not fit for me, its rock and roll. I also did not like that Sherrie sang in almost every song even if it was a song for other characters. I know they tried to create a sync between them but most of the time it did not work.
But, there are things I did like. The first would be Tom Cruise and a mix of rock stars of the time although the main inspiration I believe was Axl Rose and maybe Brett Michaels with the bandana. He was truly funny and performed well two big songs in Wanted Dead or Alive and Pour Some Sugar on Me. Paul Giamatti, the other villain in the story, was great also as Stacy’s agent. Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand were also very good. The story itself was not bad, I did like the basics of it and it was funny how they turned Drew from a rocker to a boy band singer. I think it just had few details that ruined it for me. The story takes us to that time in the strip where many hopefuls went trying to make it big, so the characters are real in that sense.
Do I think the movie is bad, not really, it is enjoyable and fun. But, as a fan of that era in music, I wish it could be better. But it is a nice trip of nostalgia.