Rock of Ages (2012)
1987. Naive Sherrie Christian has just arrived in Hollywood from Tulsa looking to become a rock star. She is just like Drew Boley was when he first arrived in Hollywood, he, now the Hollywood veteran, who works as a bar back at the Bourbon Club, known as the center of the rock scene in town and the place where many of the biggest acts in rock got their big break. The two meet as Drew helps Sherrie with a situation when she first arrives in town. Despite Dennis Dupree, the Bourbon's owner/manager, not liking to hire people like Drew or Sherrie - someone who has musical aspirations - as service staff, Drew is able to convince Dennis and his assistant Lonny to hire Sherrie as a server, Drew and Sherrie who have a blossoming mutual attraction. Dennis and Lonny, who are having financial difficulties, are able to convince rock star Stacee Jaxx, the perpetually stoned front man for the band Arsenal who got his first break performing at the Bourbon, to perform for free at a benefit concert at the club. Rumors are that Stacee is leaving Arsenal after their next gig to go solo, Rolling Stones reporter Constance Sack who wants to get the true story as to the reason. Another problem for the Bourbon is that Mayor Mike Whitmore is taking a tough stance on what he sees as bad societal influences like rock music. His Christian fundamentalist wife Patricia Whitmore is leading the on the ground campaign in this area, she who is determined to shut down the Bourbon. But Patricia is hiding a secret from her past as to the reason for her extreme fervor in getting rid of the Bourbon. As Drew and Sherrie's romance blossoms, other romances around them blossom as well. But their romance and their musical aspirations are threatened by trying to stay true to their musical visions, changing musical tastes, and by Stacee himself.
Set in 1987 Los Angeles, Drew and Sherrie are two young people chasing their dreams in the big city. When they meet, it's love at first sight, though their romance will face a series of challenges.
A small town girl and a city boy meet on the Sunset Strip, while pursuing their Hollywood dreams.
- Sherrie takes the bus to Los Angeles, and meets Drew when her precious rock LPs are stolen. Drew works behind the bar at the famous Bourbon club, and Drew gets Sherrie a job there too. Drew and Sherrie are both singers; they become close, and Sherrie helps Drew to overcome his stage fright.
The club is in dire financial straits and is relying on a gig by the enigmatic and unreliable rock god Stacie Jaxx and his band Arsenal to save them. When the opening act pulls out, Drew and his band get to open the show instead. A fellow waitress warns Sherrie that, once Drew gets into the spotlight, he'll forget about her.
Meanwhile Stacie Jaxx is being interviewed for Rolling Stone magazine by a pretty reporter, Constance Sack. He eventually instructs everyone else to leave, and tells her of his existential angst and the loneliness of sex without love. Her resistance to his rock god charm breaks down; she tells him she can meet his needs, and they engage in frantic sexual activity on the pool table.
Sherrie is instructed to bring a bottle of whisky to Jaxx. Through a misunderstanding, Drew thinks Jaxx and Sherrie made love, and when Drew comes off stage he rejects Sherrie.
Their lives take different courses; Sherrie quits the Bourbon, and desperate for money, she tries several jobs before ending up in a pole dancing lounge -- first as a waitress and then finally as a dancer. Drew is signed by Jaxx' manager, but when PR guys reject rock music as outdated, he is persuaded to join a boy band instead. He and Sherrie sing 'Here I go again on my own'; Jaxx too is shown lying in bed with a random female, thinking of someone else.
Drew and Sherrie finally meet again. The misunderstanding is cleared up, and then Drew finds Sherrie's stolen records for sale. He purchases them, returns them to her, and she attends his gig that night -- his boy band are opening for Stacie Jaxx in the Bourbon club. The boy band are booed off, and instead Drew and Sherrie duet on the song that he wrote for her. The song is a great success and catches the attention of Jaxx, who has been dramatically re-united with Constance. Jaxx adopts the song for his mega-band with Drew and Sherrie singing with him on stadium stages.
There is also a subsidiary plot in which Patricia Whitmore, the wife of the new mayor, rallies do-gooders to clean up The Strip by shutting down the Bourbon club and Stacie Jaxx in particular. However, it gradually emerges that she is an ex-Jaxx groupie whose passion against him is that of a woman scorned. Her humiliation is complete when Lonny from the Bourbon club produces an old LP with a picture of her as a groupie inside it. She sneaks into Jaxx' final show dressed in sexy black leather and dark glasses.
Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) jumps onto a coach. As many others, she is a young lady with her heart full of dreams of becoming successful and a star. She sings in the bus, creating a diologue with a little girl (Dakota Sage Grant), the bus driver (Toni Saiz) and the rest of the passengers (Tamara Jones). Sherrie arrives to Hollywood, and as soon as she leaves the station, she sees a man (Michael Olusczak) being arrested on the streets, and three street prostitutes surround her, recommending her to go back home, because she may end up like them if she pursues her dreams.
Cut to Drew Boley (Diego Boneta) who complains of having to work a lot for a minimal wage job. He has to take out the trash of the Bourbon Club, the rock joint where he works. He complains to his workmate Lonny (Russell Brand), because it's never his turn to take out the trash. Lonny tells him that it's the dues he has to pay before becoming a huge rock star in the future. There is quite a frantic crowd at the Bourbon, and a waitress, Beth (Erica Frene) refuses to kiss one of the customers, and she quits on the spot.
Sherrie arrives to the Bourbon Club, and walks past the protesters. A rocker guy (Anthony Bellissimo) sees her, and he asks her where she's -she's from Tulsa, Oklahoma-, welcoming her to Hollywood and right away he steals her full of CDs suitcase. Drew tries to stop him, but the thief runs away. Drew comments that he's in a band, and Sherrie says she's too. She says goodbye, but she doesn't know where to go, so Drew offers to ask his boss Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) to give her a job. The only advice Drew gives her is that, whatever she does, she can never mention that she's a singer. They go inside the Bourbon.
Dennis looks to be a bit dumb, as he tells Jimmy (Shane Hartline) off because he charged some ladies but they were no ladies, only long-haired rocker young men. In spite of the advice, Sherrie admits to Dennis to be a singer, and Dennis refuses to take her. However, Drew tells him that Beth just quit, so Dennis has to take her.
At the city hall, Mike Whitmore (Bryan Cranston) gives his speech for the election as LA mayor. He says that he wants to clean the city, especially of rock 'n' roll, and that he will be do with the special help of his wife, Patricia Whitemore (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Patricia says she will clean the Strip, the area of the city where the Bourbon is. Lonny thinks that Patricia looks really familiar, but can't remember where he's seen her before. He makes a comment that the mayor used to be a rocker, but he sold himself to the system.
Drew and Sherrie are at a music shop. Drew talks about why he wants to be a rocker. There is unresolved chemistry between Drew and Sherrie. Drew's problem is stage fright. She will help him if they go in a date. Whitmore's secretary (Celina Beach) makes a gesture for his boss to call her. Patricia wants to kill the Bourbon, because if she cuts the head of the problem, the Strip will die off.
Dennis can't pay the taxes, so his all depends on Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise), which is really really bad, because, as Lonny reminds him, he's extremely unreliable. Stacee Jaxx is the frontman of the rock band Arsenal, but he's clearly bigger than his band. Dennis calls Arsenal's manager, Paul Gill (Paul Giamatti). Paul reassures that Stacee will be on on Friday and comments that Rolling Stone magazine will interview him on the premises. The tour Manager (Dann Finnerty) panicks because Stacee is asking him to tone down the volume on the radio and the radio is on Stacee's head. There is a long pause before Paul lies and says Staycee's OK. Stacee's bodyguards (Kevin Nash & Jeff Chase) open up the doors for him. It looks as if Paul's entering the palace of an Egyptian pharaoh. Stacee appears from under several groupies (Chantel Gonsalves, Tyne Stecklein, Hanna Lee Sakakibara & Jaimie Goodwin) with whom he's just had sex. Paul tells him that he needs to go to the stage, he agrees and falls to the private Jacuzzi /swimming-pool.
At a church, Patricia is focusing on Stacee Jaxx, who is the devil himself for her, who represents sex, hateful music... and sex. Whitmore and his secretary are sitting together, him saying that Patricia's wonderful, and then they go somewhere private. One of the church ladies (Anne Fletcher) says that his son killed a horse because of Stacee Jaxx's influence. While Patricia sings Hit Me with Your Best Shot, the secretary is disciplining Whitmore as a sexual turn-on.
Drew and Chico (Angelo Valderrama) talk and he wishes Drew good luck on his date with Sherrie. He sees Lonny wasted, but lets him be. Drew's family thought that he was going to be a loser, so he could be a loser in his hometown. Sherrie grew up with her grandmother, who encouraged to have big dreams and work for them. They share a night view of LA with all lights on. She kisses him because he sings a little of a song he wrote, probably about her. Arsenal (The band: David Gibbs, Mark Dzier, Brev Sullivan & Daniel Wills) with Stacee Jazz as its frontman, are playing, while we see shots of the things Sherrie and Drew do together.
Dennis needs to find an opening act in only two hours, and Sherrie suggests Drew's band. Sherrie says that he'll do it for free, and that nobody cares for the opening act anyway. Drew's band (C.J. Tywoniak, Maxwell Terlecki, Robert Reef & Marcus Johns) are overjoyed, and Drew can tell them straight away because they all work at the Bourbon. Dennis complains that nobody seems to work in the bar industry anymore. Another waitress (Vivi Pineda) says to Sherrie that if he is successful, Sherrie will have to kiss him goodbye.
Arsenal arrive in a white limo, and a fan (Laurel Levey-Giacomino) screams Stacee! and faints. Paul arrives, and he tells Dennis that he had told Stacee that the gig was last night. Stacee and his monkey Heyman! arrive in style. Stacee says that Dennis and him are survivors, and hugs Dennis, and that they should burn the Bourbon to the ground so that the phoenix can be born again. Sherrie faints when she sees Stacee.
Constance Sack (Malin Ackerman) from Rolling Stone has arrived to interview Stacee Jaxx; he is half-passed out as usual, but will give her 5 minutes. He is difficult throughout the whole interview, and asks the monkey to serve him more Scotch, but when she asks him what it feels like to be the Stacee Jaxx, he seems to respond. He sings He is a Cowboy for Constance, referring to himself, and ends up in front of Sherrie, who starts telling him that his music helped her through difficult years; he tells her to go and fetch a bottle of liquor from his limo.
Outside, a reporter asks Patricia why she fights rock, and she says it poisons the ears of children. Lonny appears as a demented person taking his tongue out in fornt of the news reporters. Constance tells Stacee that he's doped with drugs and alcohol and that he keeps on singing the same songs over and over again, that he's lost his magic. Paul wants to complain to Constance's editor, but Stacee tells the girls and him out. Stacee wants sex because he's the projection of what people want him to be, and that only love can save him; she is definitely seduced by his words. Stacee and Constance make love on the pool table, but suddenly, she realizes that he's a mistake, so she leaves half-dressed. When she leaves, Paul, who had been waiting outside all the time, tells her that he'll be eagerly waiting for her report on Rolling Stone. At that moment, Sherrie enters, bumps onto Stacee and breaks the bottle of liquor.
Lonny introduces Drew's band Wolfgang Von Colt, and before going onto stage, Drew sees Sherrie leaving Stacee's room, thanking him and composing herself, and on top of everything, he is zipping up his pants. Obviously, he thinks they had had sex. Drew enters the stage in shock, but he reacts and makes the public go wild with I Wanna Rock. Paul thinks he's found a new star. Drew drinks and is mad at Sherrie when she congratulates him; what he says infuriates Sherrie, who ends up slapping him. Sherrie thinks it's the spotlight who's stolen him from her. Paul tells him not to go after Sherrie, because he'll give him longer-lasting fame. That night, both Sherrie and Drew quit. Stacee makes the crowd go wild. Drew signs with Paul. Dennis is happy that the huge revenue is going to save his club, but Paul arrives and takes all the money away, in fact, Dennis owes him 6 bucks. Paul argues that he gave Stacee his first gig back in the day, but Paul says that he gave him his first million.
Sherrie has no money to pay her room to the manager (Benjamin Malone), but when she's most desperate, Justice Charlie (Mary J. Blige) offers her an umbrella on a cold, rainy night, and a job as a pole dancer at the Venus Club for Gentlemen, but she prefers to be a waitress and earn less money.
Patricia will tell the press the truth about the Bourbon: they haven't paid taxes for a year. Whitmore asks her about her obsession with Stacee, and she says that she was pushed to be her lover when she was an innocent girl.
Drew signs a record contract while Sherrie tries to find a different job as her waitressing job doesn't pay much. Dennis is depressed because he's about to lose the Bourbon, but Lonny's love, finally made clear, cheers him up. Sherrie hesitates before a travel agency where she sees an offer for a plane ticket to Tulsa. Justice tells Sherrie that, if she pole dances, she is untouchable, and sets the example of Destiny (Anya Garnis) and Sinnamon (Karelix Alicea), who are queens while dancing. Paul presents Drew to some records execs (Constantine Maroulis & Barry Habit), who say that rock is dead, but pop is hot. Drew is not happy with his pop act. Stacee Jaxx is going solo, and his first gig will be at the Bourbon. At that moment, Drew's pop act will be presented as an opening act, and all revenue will go for the Bourbon - Lonny tosses a coin to decide if he and Dennis can trust Paul this time, and whatever it won, it meant they will trust him just this once. When Paul goes to talk to Stacee, he is mad at him because the article on the Rolling Stone, among other things, says that he squeezed every penny from the Bourbon, and he thought he had done the gig for free. The monkey Heyman is throwing things all over the place. Stacee pees on Paul because he doesn't want to waste good liquor hitting him.
Sherrie goes back to the place where she and Drew saw the lights of LA, and he's there as well. They clear the Stacee Jaxx misunderstanding up and Drew gives Sherrie a song he wrote about her. Sherrie tells Justice that she shouldn't have come to LA, but then he receives the stolen records as a present from Drew, who bought them.
Stacee phones Rolling Stone magazine wanting to talk to Constance, but a secretary (T. J. Miller) understands Cinderella. He tells him that she's at the Stacee Jaxx gig at the Bourbon and that's the first time Stacee knows about it.
Patricia is doing her usual thing outside the Bourbon, demonstrating and creating havoc, but Lonny confronts her. Meanwhile, Whitemore and his secretary are at it again. Stacee arrives at the place on his motorbike, and all the news reporters are there, broadcasting live. He faces Patricia and kisses her lustily. That begins to make her crumble, but Lonny shows the inside photo in one of Arsenal's albums, and there she is: a very young Patricia, showing her breasts, and being a groupie of the rock star. The news shocks Whitemore and destroy Patricia's image.
Stacee and Constance meet at the Bourbon, but an adoring groupie comes between them, but they passionately kiss again... eventually. The crowd boos off the Guyeezz (Josh Randall, Jack Mountford & Elgin Kos Aponte) and Drew. Drew and Sherrie kiss passionately and they sing the song he wrote for her.
Meanwhile, Stacee and Constance are making love.
Cut to a gig where Stacee, Sheree and Drew are singing together. Patricia is among the public, in full rock gear.
---written by KrystenClaire