The Movie Snob takes in a musical.
Jersey Boys (A-). Critical reactions to this new film by director Client Eastwood (Letters from Iwo Jima) have been mixed, but I am not ashamed to say that I loved it. (So did the rest of the theater, which erupted in applause at the end.) Based on a Broadway musical I have never seen, this is a biopic about the pop music group Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. The story arc is not too different from that of another favorite movie of mine, That Thing You Do! Some young guys are hanging out together, trying to make a go of it as musicians but working other jobs on the side. A new guy comes on board (not Frankie Valli—keyboardist and songwriter Bob Guardio), and after paying their dues for a while the boys finally make it big. To love the movie as much as I did, you probably need to love the music of The Four Seasons too, since there is quite a lot of it in the movie. The focus is tightly on the band’s triumphs and troubles; we see very little of Frankie’s home life and none of anyone else’s. But, bottom line, I thought it was well made and interesting throughout. Virtually all the actors were unknown to me, aside from Christopher Walken (Hairspray) as a fairly unthreatening mobster who takes Frankie under his wing. Give it a try—and prepare to be humming Four Seasons melodies for the next couple of days.