Jersey Boys has already been a smash hit on Broadway, and it sure seems like everyone is hoping that same success will translate to the silver screen (of note: I’ve seen Jersey Boys on the stage, and it’s absolutely excellent, a real winner) — so it’s too bad that Clint Eastwood is helming the big screen version of the beloved stage show.
Hey, it’s not that Eastwood is a bad director — although a peek at his recent resume reveals a major downswing in quality over the years (remember J. Edgar? Hereafter? Invictus?) — but the gruff actor and director doesn’t exactly scream “big musical guy!” Perhaps the film, which chronicles the rise of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons through the magic of their own songs, will focus more on the inner drama and turmoil of the group. Perhaps there’s a darkness to mine here. Perhaps we should take a look at the film’s first trailer to get an idea of what we’ll see later this summer.
When it comes to the film’s performance scenes, it looks like the film nails the energy and zip of the stage show. And those little narrative asides? Right from the musical, too. But the overall look and feel of the film is pure Eastwood — basically, almost overly concerned with looking “real” and “historical.” Such attention isn’t top of mind when it comes to Jersey Boys on stage, and it sure makes everything look dark and gritty and overproduced. Just let the boys sing, okay? That’s the best part (hey, even they think that.)
The film’s cast is populated by some silver screen newbies with stage experience, including Vincent Piazza, John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, and Michael Lomenda. There are also some familiar faces in there, like Christopher Walken, Eastwood’s daughter Francesca, James Madio, and Steve Schirripa.
Jersey Boys will open on June 20.
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