Saturday, June 21, 2014

Film Review: JERSEY BOYS

Although the running time of "Jersey Boys" is two hours and 14 minutes, still it's over too soon, which says a lot. Despite its numerous flaws, this film adaptation of the smash Broadway hit about the rise of a 1960's rock and roll superstar gets under your skin and stays there, at least until the next day; I saw it last night and woke up with a smile just remembering it.

Besides the infectious and unmistakeable sound of Franki Valli and the Four Seasons, the young "boys" of the title who recorded a ridiculous number (29) of chart-toppers back when I was a teenager, the film has two old pros lending it gravitas: actor Christopher Walken delights as a local mob boss with a soft spot for Frankie, as does director Clint Eastwood's unerring eye for detail. Added to their talents are the seemingly endless musical numbers featuring an endearing lead actor who can't really act but sure can sing. (His name escapes me, but unless you saw the Broadway version you never heard of him, or any of the others either.)

As for the whole Walk-Down-Memory-Lane thing that Eastwood does so well: The cars, the clothes, the hair and the lingo are all perfect, and if you were born too late to experience that era for real, this will give you the chance.

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