This film will not work for you if you are a die-hard rock ‘n’ roller! Cause you will inevitably disqualified, dismissed, and simply diss all the legendary songs that are re-arranged, and perhaps worst, sung by A-list celebrities! That is called a preconceived failure, i.e., one has so strong belief that one cannot be persuaded. However, for me, who is not interested in rock ‘n’ roll and never heavy metals this film is quite alright; this is just another version of Burlesque (2010) with a better and bigger cast. The story is the same.
Small town girl Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) from Oklahoma wants to make it big in Hollywood as a chantueuse. Arrived at Hollywood boulevard with enthusiasm but ends up getting robbed of her only suitcase. Hero, bar-tender, boyfriend, Drew Boley (Diego Boneta) comes to rescue, gets her a job at the local legendary bar, Bourbon, and you know the rest.
Bourbon, a Rock Bar, is owned by Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) and Lonny (Russell Brand) is the manager. Stacee Jaxx(Tom Cruise) landed his first gig at the Bourbon, but he is kinda on a downhill spiral. Patricia Whitmore(Catherine Zeta-Jones) is the antagonist and the moral church squat who wants to bring the Bourbon down, with the position power she has from her infidel husband, L.A. Mayor, Mike Whitmore(Bryan Cranston).
Rolling Stone magazine’s reporter Constance Sack(Malin Åkerman) is there to bring Stacee down! or is she now?! Also, poor Sherrie is down and out again, and you guess it, Mama-san, Justice (Mary J. Blige), takes her in and shows her the ropes! or poles… to survive in loveless Hollywood!
I mean even as I write, I cannot believe the A-listers that are in this movie, who all pump out quite good acts, bit grandeur but still … and they do their own belting out! no lip-syncs (the last part of the film uses [lip-sync] quite well with irony in mind, of course). Yes, they are not Mick Jagger, Bon Jovi, Steven Tyler and the likes, but at least they are those actors that can sing…reasonably well.
Although this is not a new thing, some Hollywood stars do sing and dance also on Broadway. Just that, it is getter more common ( Meryl Streep’s Donna in Mamma Mia! (2008)) now that they do it on screen. I am so waiting to see Russell Crowe‘s Javert in the coming Les Misérable (2012); I hope he is a good baritone. BTW, he has a band, and played in Newfoundland, Canada in 2011, and his albums are sold on iTunes too. His music is a bit folksy for my taste.
Oh yes, the story! Fame vs. love, which do you pick or can you have it both, while touring?!
P.S. now if Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman were to sing a duet, wouldn’t that be something? just saying…