So here’s the thing. I am probably not the best person to write this particular blog review… or blogerview as all you texting typed children’s are saying. Then again the fact that you are a texting typed person and that I haven’t incorporated some sort of weird picture of a ferret being dipped in chocolate fire in the last forty words means you’ve probably stopped paying attention to me and are currently texting Rita to see if she wants to go hang out at the mall or something. She doesn’t. Even if she tells you she does. She doesn’t. Rita doesn’t even like you. She told me yesterday. Twice.

Anyway though now that you’re not reading this and that anyone out there with a friend named Rita is royally freaked out I feel pretty good about jumping right into my review of a movie that has been widely praised as “a film in which stuff happens.”

Micah Reviews: Rock of Ages.

PLEASE do not confuse this movie with the hymn of the same name. The two have nothing in common. I promise.

The Plot:

Sherrie is a young girl arriving in Hollywood with big eyes, big hair, and an accompanying bus that happens to know all of the lyrics to “Just Like Paradise”. Anyway she steps off the bus and is almost immediately mugged by an attractive local Hollywoodsian. Never fear though!! Because ANOTHER local Hollywoodite is right there to tell her that he’s sorry and let her look at his dreamy curly black hair and milk chocolate brown eyes. I mean get her a job. THEN let her look at his dreamy curly black and snicker-doodle brown eyes. The two (as it turns out) have a lot in common and immediately fall in love and go on a montage together.

Meanwhile at the place where Sherrie and her new manboyfriend Drew work (the Bourbon room… club? thing.) the whole club is gradually sinking into the muck and mire of it’s own tax evasion. Here to save the day though is Rock icon Stacie Jax(x) who (aside from having a girl’s name and an entirely unnecessary second x) also has substance abuse issues, image problems, a tenuous grasp on reality, and a pet monkey named Hey Man(n). In other words, everybody wants to be like him. Anyway Jax(x)(b) is putting on a concert to save the club, but his manager Paul takes most of the profits anyway and the two disappear into the night. Oh also Sherrie and Drew break up (surprising given the strength of their two minute montage) and a conservative group led by some woman whose name I don’t care to remember is trying to close down the Bourbon room-club in the hopes of stopping a major motion picture from ever being made about it.

Be warned movie goers… this is the most clothes Tom Cruise wears at any point in this movie.

Will the Bourbon room be saved? Will Stacie Jax(hdfgx) ever learn what true love is? Will Sherrie and that other guy find true love in each other’s arms? Does anyone really care?

The Positrons:

Okay so you may have gotten the impression from my opening tirade that this was not my favorite movie ever. Well… it wasn’t. But neither did I hate it. It’s just easier to make fun of musicals because the plot and writing concerns are shipped to the very bottom of “the list of things we care about while making this movie.”

That having been said: I liked the cast of the movie pretty all right. Alec Baldwin and Russel Brand are entertaining, Julianne Hough does a surprisingly good job as Sheryl with the blond blond hair. And I didn’t want to beat Tom Cruise to death with his own ego every time he was on screen so… there’s that!

Definitely the three strongest performers in the film. That guy in the background? Ignore him. Please!

I did enjoy the song selection. They were all of those old classic 90’s/80’s rock ballads that I pretend not to know the lyrics to while I’m walking through public Mall typed areas! Some of them feel a little shoe-horned into the film but hey this is a musical remember? Music first!! And bearing that in mind: I liked the music.

The Negatives:

The guy who played Drew should probably never be allowed to act again. Just a suggestion. Also I’m pretty Catherine Zeta-Jones (playing the head “we want to shut this club down for largely undefined reasons” woman) was asleep most, if not all, of the time she was on camera.

I never really bought into the script. Or the characters. I know I know, “it’s a musical” but that’s like saying it’s okay that a delicious fruity snack is still good despite the fact that it’s wrapped up in the nightmares of small Latvian puppies. I realize musicals are never gonna be crazy strong in the plot department *glaring at Phantom of the Opera* but it doesn’t mean I’m not going to mention it.

A Random Section on Musicals:

Believe it or not, I like musicals. I even “liked” Rock of Ages really. I’m not against the idea of a world where people express their deepest emotions by singing, or where everyone in a school cafeteria happens to be a highly trained hip-hop dancer who can perfectly choreograph a dance on the dly. I’m okay with it. I just wish more musicals would take that idea and use it to enhance their movie rather than using it as a huge set of fluffy pink crutches. I make light of Phantom of the Opera and realize that some people have walled their entire house with the score of “Masquerade” but the straight up truth is that the whole premise of the story is built around the fact that some girl thinks the creepy guy giving her music lessons and kidnaping her is somehow her father’s ghost. Maybe Les Miserables (in theaters this December) will be the answer to my musical based prayers who knows.

Rock of Ages is definitely more along the lines of “fluffy pink crutches.” Songs are rarely justified and only once or twice did it really feel like a song fit in for the occasion it was being used on. You almost get the feeling the writers were handed a song list of “must includes” before they actually came up with a story.

In Conclusion:

Rock of Ages is a good musical and an okay movie. That’s really what things boil down too. I don’t regret going to see it, I enjoyed myself, and enjoyed listening to the music and watching some of the comic relief characters interact. I’m torn between giving this movie a two or a three here… I guess I’ll go two purely because of some of the strange strange strangliness that occurred in it without really being necessary. That said if you’re a fan of the music, or just an adult fan of musicals in general I’d definitely say it was worth checking out.

I give it 2 perfectly curled curly hairs out of 5.

P.S. Standard “this movie is rated PG-13 and you should watch it bearing that in mind” warning applies. Lots of dancing, some scant claddery, and Tom Cruise’s face are all in this movie. Honestly I was slightly surprised it made it in under the R rating… Ye be warned.

 

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