Jersey Boys is a 2014 musical drama directed by Clint Eastwood. It tells the story of the band The Four Season and how they rose from singing under streetlights in New Jersey to become a musical sensational.
In 1951, singer Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza) meets a local barber’s son named Frankie Castelluccio (John Lloyd Mills Young), whom he allows to sing with his band. The young man catches the eye of gangster Gyp DeCarlo (Christopher Walken), who admires Frankie’s talent. Tommy goes to prison for a while, but reforms the group with his friend Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) and Frankie, who takes the stage name Frankie Valli and marries Mary Delgado (Renée Marino).
The group recruits Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen) to play piano and write music, later signing with record executive Bob Crewe (Mike Doyle) as the band The Four Lovers. However, Crewe only allows them to sing back-up for other singers. However, after renaming themselves The Four Seasons, they present Crewe with cash to record and a new hit song “Sherry.” This song would propel them to stardom, both with the benefits and the pitfalls as all four members suffer very personal negative effects of their fame.
Based on the 2005 jukebox musical of the same name, Clint Eastwood asked for a rare rewrite of the script saying that the biopic “was missing a lot of things.” This turned out to be a good decision, as he put his own style on the story.
With two of the founding members producing it and composing the score, the movie definitely had a personal touch to it, which made it feel like a personal film. As you watch the climb to fame from the band, you are genuinely hit by the things that impact the members.
I also want to compliment the music. It matches the era perfectly and it is something you can tap your foot to throughout the run-time. As for the performances, they are top-notch and impressive. At times, it did feel more like a play, but I found out a lot of the actors were from the on-stage performance, so it made sense.
Bottom line, Jersey Boys is one of the best modern musicals I have seen for some time. Clint Eastwood is a master of his craft and the fact that he can branch into this drama is very impressive.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Drug use, Minor violence, Strong foul language
FAVORITE QUOTE: They ask you “what was the high point?” Hall of Fame, selling all those records, pulling “Sherry” out of the hat, it was all great. But four guys under a street lamp, when it was all still ahead of us, the first time we made that sound, our sound. When everything dropped away and all there was was the music. That was the best.
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. Tell me if there is a comic book, movie, or novel you would like me to review. While you are at it, check out my movie reviews of the Clint Eastwood films The Mule and Changeling. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.