Hit: Music was memorable and most everything else wasn’t.
Jersey Boys is the story of the “Four Seasons” a group that started in the 1950's and lasted through much of the 1960's before they imploded.
This film is supposed to provide the biographical history of this Jersey based group while providing entertainment. On the musical entertainment end – I really enjoyed the film as anyone, who was around they threw out hit after hit, would have.
The worst parts of the film were incorrect historical references: The first reference to Topo Gigio as an act on the Ed Sullivan show was many years too early. There are also wording references that were not used until the 1980's or 1990's. One segment that felt a bit creepy to me was his singing “My Eyes Adored You” to his daughter. Knowing the song, these two lines alone make it a bit weird: “though I never laid a hand on you…” “playin’ make-believe you're married to me….”
Another aspect that didn’t work was that I never got the sense that they loved the music. I know they must have, but there was nothing in the film that provided that depth of character. What drove them to create the group, as an alternative to being thugs?
Because this is what the film suggests, I wondered where the story was that had me "get" this. To be in the music business and go through all the ups and downs, you've really got to love music. Yes, they made a great and unique sound for that era - but why did they want to be musicians?
Other parts that were missing had to do with how did Valli's home life fall apart? We didn’t really see the failings of the marriage but were told what they were. In film “show don’t tell” are by words.
Piazza played Tommy DeVito who was the ringleader of the group and of the illegal activities. Piazza did a great job of being arrogant, ignorant, slimy and controlling. Although I didn’t like the character – I wasn’t meant to. John Lloyd Young played Frankie Valli. Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice wrote a week script because it skated around the deeper aspects of the people and story. Clint Eastwood did a poor job of taking this story and making it watch worthy. I did think he did a great job of presenting the music and it appears that was the only thing he was interested in.
You will have to be old enough or fond of old music to sit through this film.