Initial Hit: This is a fun and engaging film if you like the music.
This film is about two things: 1980's rock music and Tom Cruise. As Stacee Jaxx, Cruise personifies the 1980s rock star: Full of drink, sex, rock and roll and himself while being totally enjoyable.
The story is about a Sherrie (played by Julianne Hough) who is from the Midwest and comes to Hollywood to make her fame and fortune as a singer (think of the song “Oh Sherrie” by Journey). Hitting LA she gets robbed, meets Drew (played by Diego Boneta) who gets her a job in a famous rock bar as a waitress.
The bar, owned by Dennis and Lonny (played by Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand respectively), is going bankrupt and needs help. Jaxx’s famous band “Arsenal”, who had gotten their start at the bar, agrees to play there for free to help them out.
You've got to love the line by Jaxx’s manager Paul (played by Paul Giamatti), when asked how he got the famously late Stacee to show up to the gig on time; "I told Stacee that the gig was last night".
The music is the star of this film and Cruise’s enactment of a totally self-obsessed 1980’s rocker is dead on.
Cruise is perfect is his posturing, nonsensical thoughts, and having a sidekick named “Hey Man”. Hough is very good as the Sherrie. Boneta is strong as the young man who loves Sherrie and wants to be a rock singer but has to bend to current boy band musical tastes. Baldwin was good as the club owner. Brand was OK as Baldwin’s side-kick. However I didn’t understand why the relationship was portrayed the way it was. I couldn’t figure out what it added to the film. Giamatti was excellent as the sleazy manager. Justin Theroux, Chris D’Arienzo and Allan Loeb wrote a very good script. Adam Shankman directed this with zeal and fun.
Overall: If you enjoy 80’s rock, this film is a must see.