Jersey Boys is a musical biography of the Four Seasons-the rise, the tough times and personal clashes, and the ultimate triumph of a group of friends whose music became symbolic of a generation. Far from a mere tribute concert (though it does include numbers from the popular Four Seasons songbook), Jersey Boys gets to the heart of the relationships at the center of the group-with a special focus on frontman Frankie Valli, the small kid with the big falsetto. In addition to following the quartet's coming of age as performers, the core of the show is how an allegiance to a code of honor learned in the streets of their native New Jersey got them through a multitude of challenges: gambling debts, Mafia threats and family disasters. Jersey Boys is a glimpse at the people behind a sound that has managed to endure for over four decades in the hearts of the public.Written by
Ace in the Hole, which is shown on TV and mentioned by the characters, would've aired under its alternate title, "The Big Carnival". The original title was restored around 2005 for its DVD release and airing on Turner Classic Movies. See more »
I was really excited for this movie. I saw the play in Chicago about 5 years ago and loved it. Clint Eastwood is one of my favorite directors and I thought "Jersey Boys" would be one of my favorite films of this year, but I was disappointed by Eastwood's adaptation of the hit Broadway play. Maybe I set my expectations too high. It's hard not to compare it to the play.
The acting is top notch (particularly John Lloyd Young, who won a Tony for the play), the sets are authentic, and the music is great. However, I felt Eastwood decided to add more talking moments and put the music to the side. The music becomes more background noise and not the driving force of the film. The film becomes more of a standard music biopic than the musical on Broadway. I understand why they made some of the choices and some of them work very well, but I would have liked to have seen more musical moments.
A lot of time is placed on the exposition and I thought it kind of slowed the film down. The actors break the fourth wall throughout the film, but I don't think Eastwood's style worked as well with it. Films that break the fourth wall and talk directly to the camera (like Woody Allen's "Annie Hall" or Martin Scorsese's "Goodfellas) have a particular energy that drives the film. Eastwood, though, has a slower and more patient style and I'm not sure if breaking the fourth wall always went well with the film. The actors are good enough to make it work though.
The movie is at its best when the music comes to the forefront. Eastwood does a good job of showing the fun the band has creating music and the audiences' reaction to the music. It shows the power of their music. One of my favorite moments is when the band plays "Cry for Me" for the first time. It's music being created so naturally and shows why Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons are great. Other great song moments include "My Eyes Adored You" and the tear jerking rendition of "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You."
Eastwood's "Jersey Boys" has its faults, but the sheer power of the music and the acting makes it a treat worth seeing.
22 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this