Film: Rock Of Ages
Rating: PG 13
TC Rating: 4.0 / 5.0

by Adria DeLaune

If you’re an 80’s junkie like me, Rock of Ages will be a fantastic romp through your favorite decade.  The clothes, the music, the absurdity…it’s all there right before your eyes.

This movie will either be the soundtrack to your youth or it will turn you on to songs you never knew you could love.  80’s anthems abound in this broadway-play-turned-film where the music of Journey, Twisted Sister and Foreigner plays as much of a starring role as its powerhouse cast.  Julianne Hough as small town girl Sherrie Christian, Alec Baldwin as the seedy bar owner, Russell Brand as his quirky sidekick, Catherine Zeta Jones as the empowered mayor’s wife, and Tom Cruise as leather-clad frontman Stacee Jaxx are just a few of the familiar faces you’ll see on screen.

The plot is predictable, but the singing and dancing are enjoyable enough to forget that this is a classic “love gone wrong and then right again” story.  Sherrie, a transplant from Oklahoma who has just stepped off of a Greyhound bus, meets knight in shining armor and fellow singer Drew (Diego Boneta) who gets her a job before turning his sights to his own career.  Sherrie convinces the owner of The Bourbon Room (Baldwin) to allow Drew to open for Stacee Jaxx (Cruise) and Stacee’s sleezy manager (played by Paul Giamatti) takes Drew on as his newest client.  Meanwhile, Patricia Whitmore (Zeta Jones), the wife of the Mayor of Los Angeles, gives her all to shut down The Bourbon Room and other clubs on the same strip. R & B singer Mary J. Blige appears in a small part as a club owner who helps Sherrie out when she’s at her lowest point.  The next hour and a half are a rollercoaster through the various storylines

This film loses points for being overly kitschy, but that tends to come with the territory when a musical is made into a film.  It is challenging not to giggle when the actors spontaneously break into song to express their thoughts while walking through a record store or down the street.  But the movie is fun and it is a great escape from reality.  Pay special attention to the street crowd scene.  Look for some of your favorite 80’s rock stars in blink-and-you’ll-miss-‘em cameos.

If you hated the 80’s the first time around, you may want to steer clear of this one, but if you loved hair bands, this is the film for you!  Go see it soon before Tom Cruise goes back to doing more serious roles.