From director Clint Eastwood comes the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic '60s rock group 'Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons'. Their trials and triumphs are accompanied by the hit songs that influenced a generation: "Sherry", "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Walk Like a Man", "Dawn", "Rag Doll", "Bye Bye Baby" and many more.
Starts well -gets boring
- Jersey Boys review by GJ
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You rated this film: 3
The trouble with transferring a stage musical to the screen is that it lacks the frequent direct contact between the actor and each and every member of the audience. This movie starts well but the need for suspended disbelief that a stage show requires only rarely transfers to the screen. Of course Cabaret, Chicago, South Pacific et al managed it but this movie doesn't.
Having never seen the famed musical Clint Eastwood’s latest film is based on it put me in the unique experience of learning everything I need to know about Frankie Valli right then and there. I cannot speak about the musical but I can comment on the film and while in the much more playful environment of the stage what Jersey Boys presents could be entertaining and even delightful, the destructive personalities on display here make for a frustrating and dull viewing.
Jersey Boys follows Frankie (John Lloyd Young) as he rises through the ranks as a young impressionable boy to the lead of a world renowned band with plenty of problems and fights filling the gaps between here and there. While Frankie rises up he must face the destructive nature of fellow band mate Tommy (Vincent Piazza) and the effect his lifestyle has on his family. All the while he must deal with his relationship with the mobsters that he grew up with in New Jersey.
While the film devotes a decent chunk into the creation of The Four Seasons the film loses itself when the band find themselves and their success as the problems and drama that the film dovetails into feels forced as the film never devotes any time to their development until they are required to cause problems for the characters. Frankie and Tommy’s issues feel equally nonsensical despite Tommy’s completely unpleasant character and actions.
The film tries to justify some of its weaker elements with a simple line in the film, one that would work tremendously on the stage but in the world of cinema feels like a cop out as it allows Frankie and co to act like children, do what they want and live lives that are unpleasant to watch. All in all the songs are nice but bobbing along to a pleasant tune is all well and good, I wish there was a story to differentiate this from an episode of Glee.