Clint Eastwood returns to the director’s seat with his interpretation of the Tony Award winning musical Jersey Boys. The film tells the story of rise to fame of the musical group Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The Film Stars John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lamenda, Vincent Piazza, and Christopher Walken. Odds are you know The Four Seasons. Even if you don’t realize that you know them. Sitting in the theater, as they came up with a performed songs, I was taken back to when I was young and listened to my mom playing them. Songs I loved, songs I grew up with. To see the story behind them was very exciting.
Jersey Boys is the film adaptation of the hit Broadway play of the same name. The story follows the rise to fame of Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, and the Four Seasons. The time line can be pretty confusing as dates are never given, but the film starts out with a young Frankie as he learns the ropes of the street life from DeVito. Soon Frankie is taken into “the group” and they begin their journey to stardom. Along the way they meet Bob Gaudia, through Joe Pesci, yes, THE Joe Pesci. That was cool. The group grows and becomes the giant success that they were, and until DeVito’s money problems, and Valli’s family problems.
The cast was top notch I think. A few of the actors are stage actors, I am no expert in stage acting so I didn’t really notice a distinction in them. Vincent Piazza plays the street wise DeVito with such passion. He’s an interesting character watch. And John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli is incredible. He also played the part in the Broadway play. It’s amazing how much a like they sound. As much as I liked seeing Joe Pesci in the film, the character, the actor who played him was definitely no Joe Pesci. To top the film off, there is nothing like seeing Christopher Walken on screen. He demands your attention whenever he is present.
Going to see the film I was excited to see the story. I knew a few songs from the trailer, but did not realize how many of their songs I actually knew and loved. And seeing how they put them together was very entertaining. The story is an incredible one too. I would have liked to see more on the ties they had to mob, and problems DeVito got himself into. And like I said the timeline could get very confusing, you never really know what year it is, or how much time had passed. If you didn’t live through the decade, you might not really get a grasp of how long these guys where in the spot light. I know I had a problem knowing how long it had taken.
The film also takes advantage of breaking the 4th wall. Whereas most films only let one character do so, they continue the films narrative at different times letting different characters speak to the audience. It can be confusing, but for the most part isn’t. I gave the film a Jeebus score of 3.9 with a .2 bonus for the films music. That said, Jersey Boys gets a 4.2, A Good Time at the Theater!