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Conrad E. Palmisano
In the early 1960s, Eddie and the Cruisers was the hottest rock band around. But the tragic death of its lead singer broke up the band. Only Eddie Wilson is not dead. He works as a construction worker in Montreal. His love of music forces him to create a new band which will have to struggle with its anonymity. Written by
Steve Richer <email@example.com>
Harvey Atkin (playing Lou Eisen) and Kate Lynch (playing Lindsey Caputo) also worked together in Meatballs (1979) where Harvey was Morty, the camp director and Kate was Roxanne, the girl's head counselor. See more »
When Eddie drives from Montreal into Manhattan, he drives over the Brooklyn Bridge. That would be a very indirect route. See more »
You really enjoyed this life, don't you? Always traveling.
Still missed Jersey.
And what's so special about Jersey?
Baby, there's nowhere else in the world like the Garden State! You got miles of swamps, and mountains of dumps... different colored rivers... automobiles graveyards... breweries, factories, ballparks, all mixed up together. It's the best place to live.
Uh-huh? Then why does the Statue of Liberty face the other way?
[they both laugh]
That was cruel!
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I started watching this on TV (1) without intending to see it all, and (2) without realizing that there had been an Eddie & The Cruisers Part I. Don't plan to go back and watch Part I, but I stayed to see all of Part II. If you like the music of the 80's, you might do the same.
The premise is that Eddie has been hiding out in Canada for twenty five years, cleverly disguised to look like Robert Goulet, while everybody back in the lower 48 who loved his music thinks he's dead. He has a good day job in construction, where he seems to be a foreman, but even after so many years, music still calls to him. Around the same time, his old record company is reviving his 1960's music, so you can see very early on where this is going.
The film gives Eddie a love interest in the person of an artist who approaches him on the street, asking if she could paint his portrait because his face is so intriguing -- that of a guy forever looking for something he can't have, she says. She's not a big success as an artist, although she certainly has an expensive wardrobe, hairdo, and apartment. But she's there for Eddie when he needs her. For his part, Eddie likes her well enough to get jealous when she dances with another guy, so you can see where this is headed too.
Mysteriously, he starts out with just a lead guitarist, but the rest of a band comes together when he calls, even though they don't recognize Eddie under the Goulet hair and mustache, nor do they recognize the old Eddie voice or music riffs. And equally mysteriously, they just accept his moods and dictatorial manner. So they practice and practice, and eventually (you knew this was coming, right?) they take on some live gigs.
Eddie's problem, as the girl recognized on the street, is that he doesn't just love music -- he's searching for musical perfection. Since this all must take place in a parallel universe, he doesn't realize that there isn't much perfection in rock & roll (how could you ever know if you screw it up or not?), but he keeps on trying for it, getting angry and moody when it eludes him. This brings us to the ultimate mystery here -- why do artist girl and the boys in the band put up with him?
Like some Hollywood musicals of the 30's and 40's, without a great plot or really believable characters a film like this lives or dies on the music it offers, and fortunately, the music in this one is pretty good. It channels Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band very effectively. Even though this was made in the 80's, there is no disco, no rap, and none of what passes for music today. It's pretty much straight Springsteen, with occasional flashes back to the simpler Rock of the early 60's. I found it both comforting and enjoyable. Hope you do too.
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