Rock of Ages
Director: Adam Shankman
Writer: Justin Theroux, Chris D’Arienzo, Allan Loeb
Cast: Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough, Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti, Tom Cruise, Malin Akerman, Mary J. Blige, Bryan Cranston, Eli Roth
Sherrie (Julianne Hough) just arrived in LA, dreaming of being a singer but instead she gets robbed straight away and somebody makes off with her record collection. Drew (Diego Boneta) who witnessed the incident manages to get Sherrie a job as a waitress at the living off its former glory Bourbon club where he works, too. The club is preparing for a huge concert by Stacie Jaxx (Tom Cruise) while Christian protesters lead by Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones) try to shut down rock in general.
As long as the movie was camp, it was brilliantly funny. Unfortunately most of the time we’re stuck with the absolutely colorless and frankly just boring lead characters.
The movie lives off the supporting cast. Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Catherine Zeta-Jones (can I just say how amazing that woman looks? She barely seems to age at all), Tom Cruise, Eli Roth, Paul Giamatti and Bryan Cranston shine everytime they come on screen. I just don’t get why they would cast Mary J. Blige. Don’t get me wrong – she’s a wonderful singer, but she was the only one in the entire cast and that just emphasized that everybody else was not a musician, originally.
It really is too bad that the movie isn’t actually about them. Unfortunately, while both Diego Boneta and Julianne Hough are rather pretty to look at, their characters have no personalities whatsoever. Or anything else to hold your interest. Plus, Julianne Hough’s voice sounded weird. Which is kind of awkward in a musical.
Talking about awkward in a musical – at the beginning I had a really hard time getting into the spirit of things. Everytime they started singing, I just wanted to roll my eyes. That feeling went a way after a time but it’s still weird – I usually like musicals and have no trouble accepting sudden song outbursts.
Whenever Shankman justs revels in the camp of it all, the movie is enjoyable enough to make up for its shortcomings though. Like when Stacie Jaxx sings an ode to, basically, Constance’s (Malin Akerman) vagina. Or Dennis (Alec Baldwin) saying, “Tell them I’m busy falling in love.” Or Patricia dancing a Thriller-like routine in front of a Stacie Jaxx altar.