Jersey Boys Movie Review
Clint Eastwood dances, sings and serenades in Jersey Boys. Thankfully, we never see or hear him as he does so behind the camera, opting for acting duties to be handled by a bunch of relative no-names to bring the hit Broadway play to the big screen.
That’s good, because Dirty Harry doesn’t have the best singing voice.
As for the movie, about the high-pitched Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, the music hits all the right notes. The drama… comes off a bit tone deaf. The result? A moderately entertaining but ultimately unfulfilling musical that lacks the energy and enthusiasm of the Broadway play.
The play is fast-paced, fun and pulsing with electricity, and at times Eastwood captures the same spirit. When the pals are in recording studio or on stage together, Four Seasons tunes blasting from the speakers, the movie is entertaining as hell. As the story progresses and things get more serious, however, neither the screenplay nor actors have the heft to make much of the story.
At two hours and 15 minutes in length, Jersey Boys would have benefited from some tightening, most notably in the third act. At the same time, the picture needed to dig deeper into certain aspects of the story. A Broadway play can gloss over plot points easily enough, but movies not so much. Some of the weightier moments, like (spoilers) the death of his Frankie’s daughter, don’t have the emotional impact they needed to have.
Oh, and Eastwood needs to be banned from ever using old-age makeup again. Between J. Edgar and now Jersey Boys, the world can’t handle the terrible makeup work Eastwood has put on display over the last few years.
Jersey Boys is an okay movie, but when the boys aren’t singing, the movie loses much of its energy. Still, for musical fans, the film offers just enough to warrant a matinee viewing. For the rest of you, wait until video. Or go and watch Chicago again.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.