Reviews written by registered user
|3 reviews in total|
In reading some of the negative reviews here, I almost feel like people
went in to this film taking it far too seriously. Having not seen the
stage show, I can't compare, but as a campy 80s musical, it delivered
far more than I expected.
The two young people playing the lead roles aren't brilliant in their performances--but they don't have to be. Neither is storyline that strong. Again, it doesn't have to be. The music is the star here (okay, maybe only second to Tom Cruise, but still...).
This is just a fun romp of a movie for anyone who is the least bit familiar with the music of the era. It's a film you can just escape into and laugh at the silliness of it all. The musical performances are all pretty terrific and the comedy so over the top that the people in attendance were laughing so hysterically at times that you'd miss the next line.
Finally, Tom Cruise delivers in a way that can surprise even the most jaded movie-goer. His voice & screen presence really do make the film. I realize that there probably was a bit of studio magic happening, but it is still damned impressive.
There are a few details that can one can nit-pick about if they wish (yes, Skid Row wouldn't have been playing over the speakers in Tower Records in 1987, and Sherrie's hair looks a little more 1977 than 1987), but none of it really takes away from the pure enjoyment of the film.
I'm giving this 9 stars because it delivers exactly what it should. Bonus: look for actual 80s rockers in the crowd outside the bar during "We Built This City." :)
Sometimes you just need a movie that makes you smile, laugh, and feel good about life for a couple hours. This works. Grant is hilarious and believable in his role as a "has-been" 80's pop star and Barrymore is fun to watch. There are no surprises but the video sequence at the beginning of the film alone is worth the price of admission. For anyone who remembers the absurdity of 80's pop (and especially for those who reveled in it!), it is a lot of fun. It's a movie that doesn't take itself or its characters too seriously (if at all). It's well done, however, and I found the concert scene at Madison Square Garden amazingly realistic, for what it is.
It's easy to get caught up in the "too many characters" argument or that there are too many stories left unfinished or incomplete. IMO, it's important to remember this is a snapshot of just ONE day. How much are we expected to know about any of the characters in that time period? How much do you learn about the guy sitting next to you on the plane with whom you visit during a three hour flight? I admit that at first I was thinking, "Okay Emilio, where are you going with this and why do I care about all these people?" It seemed a little disjointed to me. But then I found myself going with it and appreciating the idea that we were getting a glimpse into the lives of a few of the people at the Ambassador hotel that day. I thought the performances by all were very strong, although I'll admit it was next to impossible to get beyond the all-star cast, simply because the plot isn't structured to bring you close enough to the characters to lose sight of who is playing the role. But again, in the end it didn't matter because the artistry of it all--the music, the camera shots, the inclusion of film and audio footage of Bobby Kennedy, the significance of these characters we've been following throughout... it just worked for me. It is also hard to ignore how much RFK's message resonates in our political climate today. As the credits rolled, at least half of the audience remained in their seats, from those sitting in stunned silence to others almost sobbing. Complete strangers were gathered outside the theater, talking about the movie or their own memories of Kennedy. It is clearly a labor of love for Emilio but I think he did a fabulous job.