Rock of Ages, the comedic movie musical that was adapted from the 2006 Broadway stage show, was released on Friday. The film follows a similar path as Mamma Mia, a stage musical that was based around songs of the group ABBA, before being turned into a major motion picture. Likewise, Rock of Ages does not feature original songs. Instead the film will introduce the current generation to a whole new (old) world of amazing music.
Set in 1987, Rock of Ages takes place in Los Angeles, California, and follows events surrounding the famous Bourbon Room, a rock club in the Hollywood hills that can make or break any band. Julianne Hough headlines as Sherrie Christian, a young woman who left a small town in Oklahoma to make it as a singer, but ends up waitressing at The Bourbon Room instead. Although Hough delivered a wonderful performance in the film, the real star was her love interest, Diego Boneta. Boneta played Drew Boley, another worker at the club with ambitions of rock stardom. There is definitely a new teen heartthrob in the making with Boneta, and it’s no wonder why, with his adorable mop of brown curls, charming smile, and an unquestionable talent that completely backed up his sensitive, wanna-be rock star image. The audience may have been routing for Hough, but they were drooling over Boneta.
The adult characters, on the other hand, were a little disappointing. Tom Cruise played rock god Stacee Jaxx in an over-the-top performance that showed off his eccentric diva personality. The appearance of his pet monkey, Hey Man, was a weak attempt at comedy that just came across as juvenile. Cruise’s supposedly-steamy scenes with Malin Akerman, or rather, Constance Sack, a reporter for Rolling Stone, were also devices meant for cheap laughs, but only succeeded in dragging out the film unnecessarily. Even Catherine Zeta-Jones, who played Patricia Whitmore, the conservative antagonist whose mission throughout the film is to shut down The Bourbon Room, was awkward in her acting. However, Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin saved their co-stars with a hilarious and light-hearted sub-plot that had viewers hooting and hollering in their seats.
Big names and undeniable talent were in no short supply in this movie. There were even some cameo appearances by real music icons, such as Sebastian Bach, Kevin Cronin, and Constantine Maroulis. Mary J. Blige also lent her talent as Justice Charlier, the owner of a strip joint known as The Venus Club.
The musical performances alone are enough of a reason to see this movie. There were amazing covers from the bands Journey, Poison, Guns N’ Roses, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, Def Leppard, Whitesnake, Twisted Sister, and Night Ranger, as well as Bon Jovi and Pat Benatar. It’s a fun and continuous rock concert that will have you dancing in the aisle and wishing you were born only a few decades earlier, so that you could have seen this all firsthand. Dust of your parents old vinyl records, because thanks to Rock of Ages, the ‘80s are making a comeback!