Tom Cruise can rock! I have not been his biggest fan, but he does a great job as the aging, dissolute rocker Stacee Jaxx in this fun movie. Rock of Ages opens with Julianne Hough (Sherrie) on a Greyhound bus out of Oklahoma, bound for fame and fortune in Hollywood.The tone of the movie is set immediately, as she begins singing, and is soon joined by the bus driver and the rest of the passengers.
Yes-this is a musical, based on the Broadway musical, and not just a movie about rock and roll with music. The characters don’t speak when they can sing.
Anyway Sherrie lands in Hollywood, is mugged, meets Drew (another small town kid chasing a dream), and lands a job waitressing at the Bourbon Club. The club is run by Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin). Dupree is in financial trouble and is banking on the upcoming appearance of Stacee Jaxx and his band Arsenal to keep the club afloat.
Rock of Ages is full of subplots, which makes for many small roles for lots of famous actors. Will the mayor (Bryan Cranston) and his wife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) succeed in closing down the Bourbon Club in an effort to clean up Hollywood? Will Sherrie and Drew get together? Why is Mary J. Blige running a “gentlemen’s club”? Will Dennis and his assistant (Russell Brand) raise enough money to pay the back taxes on the club? Will Stacee Jaxx stay sober long enough to perform? Will he keep his sleazy manager (Paul Giamatti)?
To the nasty critics of this movie I say-this is a fun summer movie. It is a musical fantasy and a love letter to rock and roll. Lighten up!
My favorite bit-Can’t Fight this Feeling, sung as a duet by Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand. Fabulous!