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Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys

In Theatres: 
Jun 20, 2014
Running Time: 
134 minutes

The Four Seasons is one of music’s quintessential rock groups from the 60s, selling more than 100 million records worldwide over the decades. Their rise to fame and subsequent fall has been was documented in the 2005 Broadway hit musical Jersey Boys. And now the musical has been turned into a film directed by Clint Eastwood. Prepare yourself for a Four Seasons overload.

The film follows the same story as the musical beginning with the early days of the band members and how they all came together to form the group. Front and center is Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young), the man with the glorious voice. He’s joined by his longtime friend and bad boy Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza), guitarist Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda), and songwriter Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen). Together they would win over a nation, but like all good things, the fame doesn’t last forever.

Jersey Boys features many of the top songs the band produced over the years, but lacks a compelling story to go along with it. It basically starts from the beginning and goes through every up and down of the band’s career. Like in the Broadway show, all of the actors have their moments in the spotlight where they break the forth wall and deliver a monologue directly to the camera. Unlike in the musical, there’s a whole lot less singing and dancing.

The problems arise when the film attempts to show everything that happens to The Four Seasons, but ends up not showing enough where it actually matters. The relationship between Valli and his daughter is the perfect example of things gone wrong. It’s practically nonexistent for the first half of the film, and then we get this one scene of him trying to be a father and wanting to help out her singing career. Not five minutes later and we learn that she’s passed away. Her entire story arc was barely 10 minutes long and it’s supposed to have this profound impact on Frankie, yet I don’t care all that much because I was never given a reason to do so.

The film actually ends with an awesome little song and dance number that is more reminiscent of the Broadway musical. Personally I would have enjoyed the film more had it followed that format instead of the more traditional film route. Instead it just teases you with the thought of what it could have been.

Fans would get more out of listening to the Jersey Boys soundtrack than watching the film. In fact, you should just pick up any Four Seasons album and just listen to that. It’s all about the band’s music, and unfortunately that didn’t translate all that well to film.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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