Let me begin by saying that I am a sucker for musical theatre. Specifically, for the parts of shows that involve the entire cast singing a number that’s broken into two or more overlapping parts. When this happens, I generally get a big goofy grin on my face and stare at the screen until the scene it’s over, and then look at the person next to me and gleefully exclaim, “I don’t want it to end!” or “This is my favorite thing!!!”
Examples of this include (sorry for the lack of clips, youtube is acting up):
- Cell Block Tango- Chicago
- Carryin The Banner- Newsies
- At The End of the Day & One Day More- Les Mis
- Christmas Bells, Another Day & Rent- Rent
- Without Love- Hairspray
- What Is This Feeling- Wicked
You get the point.
So yesterday at 10:30am, when my husband, (who had taken the day off so we could hang out as a family) asked if I wanted to go and take our almost three week old daughter to see Rock of Ages, I of course said yes.
This was her first post-womb musical (though she was present for the stage versions of Bring It On (sorry, kiddo!) and Memphis during my ninth month of pregnancy) and praise the Lord, she somehow slept through the entire thing. Which is good, because Rock of Ages? Is in this case, definitely NOT about Jesus.
Though one of my favorite scenes did take place in a church. 🙂
Y’all. Apart from the Avengers, which is wonderful for completely different reasons, you’d be hard pressed to fun a more fun summer movie. Even if you don’t like musicals. Because in Rock of Ages, it actually makes sense when the characters burst into song, because they’re songs that EVERYONE knows! Or should know, anyway.
For me personally, this movie combined my love of musical theatre with my love for movies about musicians in a glorious, over the top explosion of timeless monster ballads. It is quite literally nothing but a good time, soaked in scotch, wrapped in fishnet hose, doused with Aquanet and ignited by the wings of the fire phoenix. Halfway through the opening scene, I turned to Todd and said “I love this movie.” and apart from a little unnecessary raunch, I didn’t change my mind. I mean in my experience, if a movie has a scene with people singing on a bus? It’s going to be pretty good.
Somehow, Tom Cruise was perfectly cast as drunken, sweaty rock god Stacee Jaxx. Alec Baldwin was an excellent washed up club owner, Paul Giamatti was the greasiest Phil Horace you could ask for and Russell Brand was– himself. I can’t believe I’m saying this and it will probably never come out of my mouth again, but I actually really enjoyed him in this movie. I know people are going to continue to talk about the cheesiness of Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta singing to each other. They’re going to whine about how Julianne’s high voice destroyed a couple of classic rock songs. But– really? Come on, it’s a 80’s musical. And if you take it for precisely what it is, you don’t have anything to complain about.
Like a lot of 80’s films, Rock of Ages gets a little slow in the middle, but it starts and finishes with with a bang that will still make you smile even if, thanks to Glee, you’ve heard enough of Journey’s number one hit to last four lifetimes. My only suggestion for this movie? In addition to the 3D offering, they should host enhanced singalong showings of this movie, where instead of just 3D glasses, you also get a fanny pack with two beers, a lighter and a hairbrush shaped microphone.
So go. See Rock of Ages and enjoy everything about it, from the super fun opening sequence to the way Stacee Jaxx counts down to his entrance for “Dead or Alive”. But don’t take the kids, unless you think they’ll sleep through it. Or unless you fancy having a conversation with them about Stacee Jaxx’s choices in fashion accessories.