Clint Eastwood is such an amazing director, and he managed to turn the Broadway Musical hit Jersey Boys into a wonderfully entertaining movie that I think anyone could enjoy. Eastwood have never really done a musical before, so I wasn't really sure how this would turn out. But, he pulled it off brilliantly. The director once again proves that he's still one of the best directors working in Hollywood.
I know a lot of people in the "geek" world don't really care for musicals like this. If Jersey Boys doesn't seem like your thing… I understand, but I've got to at least ask you to please give it a shot. It's more than just a musical, it's got a timeless heartfelt story that has the power to inspire the people that see it.
The film is based on the true story of the classic four-man band Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. It follows them through their struggles as a group trying to make it in the harsh world of entertainment, and the difficult trials they go through after they find success. It's one of those stories that many of us can relate too even if you aren't trying to start a band. It's packed full of life lessons, and offers examples of the meaning of respect and loyalty to family and friends.
Eastwood cast several unknown actors in the movie, but they gave fantastic performances. The main cast of the band included John Lloyd Young (Four Seasons Broadway Show) as Frankie Valli; Erich Bergen (Four Seasons Broadway Show) as Bob Gaudio; Vincent Piazza (Boardwalk Empire) as Tommy DeVito and Michael Lomenda took on the role of Nick Massi. What I liked about Eastwood casting unknowns is the fact that I wasn't distracted by the actors. I was fully vested in the characters they were playing, and they were completely believable. Eastwood had this to say about the casting in a recent interview with THR:
"People are asking why I didn't use some pseudo Hollywood name—if the picture doesn't work, nothing works, so it doesn't need a name ... but I've been proven wrong before!"
If you're still not sure if this is a movie that you want to see I have one name for you… Christopher Walken. Everything this guy touches is gold, and even though he doesn't have a huge role in the movie he still steals every scene that he's in. I don't know how he does it, but the character he plays comes off so naturally on big screen, and he also offers up most of the laughs. The guy does stuff that nobody else could ever pull off the way he does. If you're a fan of Walken then you own it yourself to see this movie.
Then of course there's the music, it's perfect. It's packed full of catchy classic tunes from the band that is sure to get stuck in your head by the end of the movie. I saw the movie four days ago and I still find myself sing some of these song to myself. I haven't listened to this kind of music in years, but I went through an oldies stage, so it was good to be reminded of how good the music really was back then.
Jersey Boys was an entertaining movie, and it's one I'd drag someone too just to make sure they saw it. I hope you get a chance to see it in theaters, but if not you can always watch it when it's released on Blu-ray and VOD.