Jersey Boys (2014)
Director: Clint Eastwood
Here is a musical for old farts. And I’ll go ahead now and admit, even though I’m only 28, I’ve kind of always been an old fart at heart, and when it comes to music that old farts like it doesn’t get much older or fartier than Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Along with being an old fart (can I get a word count on how many times I’ve said that now?) I’m also a sucker for good coming of age music movies such as Almost Famous and That Thing You Do, which are two of my favorite movies ever, period. This isn’t as good as those, but it has plenty of great groovy tunes that old farts will enjoy, and there’s even a tinge of gangster movie to be found here thanks to the neighborhood these kids came from (early on in the movie we see members of the band greeting each other on their way into and out of prison respectively). This is the same neighborhood that Joe Pesci grew up in, and I don’t reference him by accident as he’s actually in this movie as a historical character. (Mind blown!)
On that front we also get a fine performance by Christopher Walken as the kindly old godfather type character who runs things in the neighborhood that these guys came from. The conflict in this movie mainly comes from one character, who is also the narrator, Nick DeVito, who gets in major debt to the kind of guys you really really don’t want to get into money trouble with. All of that is here, plus lots of other assorted melodrama. This movie got mixed reviews coming out, but to me it was everything I was hoping for. A great musical with good music, and a well developed personal story that maintained my interest. Maybe it’s just because I am in the target demo (that of being an old fart) that I fell so hard for Jersey Boys, but I don’t care. This is one that will be getting a lot of repeated viewings from me, no matter how much the wife doth protest.