Rock of Ages was so much better then I expected it to be. Hairspray-loving, spandex-wearing bands and radio-friendly hit songs from the ’80s were never a big hit with me – at least when I was younger . . . I actually loved it as an adult. Since it first opened on stage in Los Angeles in 2006, the show has had enormous success – to become a musical for the screen was a must!
Director Adam Shankman, working from a script by Justin Theroux, Chris D’Arienzo and Allan Loeb, focuses on how country girl Sherrie (Julianne Hough) and city boy Drew (Diego Boneta) fall in love while working at a popular bar called the Bourbon Room. Both Sherrie and Drew are trying to make it in the music business on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, during 1987.
The always hilarious Alec Baldwin, who played Bourbon Room owner, Dennis Dupree, did a great job. Dennis is fighting to save his bar, and he needs rock icon Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise), the lead singer of a fictional silly band Arsenal to make one last appearance at the Bourbon before Stacee goes solo. Stacee’s greasy manager, Paul Gill (Paul Giamatti), has other selfish plans in mind. While more trouble is stirred up by Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones), the wife of the mayor (Bryan Cranston), who wants to close down the “devil’s music” club scene. Mary J. Blige makes an appearance as the runner of an ‘adult club’ when Sherrie turns to working as a stripper to make ends meet.
Rock of Ages has somewhat of a foolish storyline but is saved by its music, a colossal of hits from Def Leppard, Journey, Foreigner, REO Speedwagon, Pat Benatar, Bon Jovi, Twisted Sister, Poison and Whitesnake. It’s near impossible not to enjoy if you’re a music fan. Critics and fans often refer to Rock of Ages as the Mamma Mia for metalheads!
How can we not like a movie that only wants to rock you? I couldn’t.