Hollywood won’t stop believin’ in the Great White Way, and neither will we.
“Rock of Ages,” the latest movie musical to shimmy from Broadway to the big screen, opens today with a cast of Hollywood heavyweights (Tom Cruise, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Alec Baldwin) and nubile newcomers (Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta) dusting off the ol’ jukebox and getting down. The flick follows barback/aspiring musician Drew Boley (Boneta) as he falls for new-in-town cutie Sherrie Christian (Hough) and lands his first break opening for rock god Stacee Jaxx (Cruise) at the Sunset Strip’s storied Bourbon Room.
All splashy song-and-dance numbers and schmaltzy romance, this rose may have a few thorns, but it hits moviegoers with its best shot, nonetheless. Here are five reasons to see “Rock of Ages”:
It’s a musical for everyone
Don’t hide your boyfriend! Don’t hide your husband! Director Adam Shankman guarantees men and women alike will leave the theater tapping their toes. “I thought, ’Holy moly!’ Here’s an opportunity to make a musical truly for straight men,” Shankman told MTV News recently when asked what appealed to him about the project. “I mean, straight guys walk into the theater and they know every word of the music. So it’s a completely different experience from girls having to drag their boyfriends to boys dragging their girlfriends.”
The soundtrack rocks
Speaking of the music, we’ve all sloshed our way through enough Journey-fueled last calls to have acquired a certain affinity for ’80s jams (whether we were cognizant during the decade or not), and “Rock of Ages” is full of the era’s requisite power ballads and silly ditties. Perhaps taking a cue from that small-screen musical “Glee” (which Shankman has guest directed), there are a few fun mash-ups here worth noting, especially “We Built This City” / “We’re Not Gonna Take It” sung by Zeta-Jones and Russell Brand during a fierce face-off. You’ll also recognize stand-alone favorites like “Pour Some Sugar On Me,” “I Want To Know What Love Is” and “Here I Go Again.”
A whole different Tom Cruise
Cocktail slinger. Blood sucker. Kinky-sex-haver. With nearly 40 movie roles to his name, how is it possible we’re still seeing new facets to the prolific Tom Cruise? Here, he’s the embodiment of egomaniacal swagger as Stacee Jaxx, a man who’s never met a buttoned shirt he likes and whose closest confidante is a baboon named Hey Man. It’s clear from his first woozy entrance on screen that Cruise is relishing this unexpected role. “It was so different. I’m always looking for different things to do and to work with [director Adam] Shankman on a musical, he just really knows these musicals,” Cruise enthused at the film’s premiere.
See stars on the rise
Conversely, this is 21-year-old Diego Boneta’s first feature film role after parts on teen-friendly TV like “90210” and “Pretty Little Liars.” Shankman has a track record for launching talent (see: Zac Efron, Channing Tatum), and Boneta could just be his latest fresh find. There’s also Julianne Hough who’s infinitely likeable as L.A. transplant Sherrie Christian. Hough’s a true triple-threat, and with roles lined up in Diablo Cody and Nicholas Sparks flicks, you best get used to seeing this pretty face on theater screens now.
Nostalgia-istas rejoice…and keep your eyes peeled for a number of era-appropriate guest stars. We won’t spoil the surprise, but let’s just say one of the stars of “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid” definitely makes an appearance. Regrettably, it’s not Mega Python or Gatoroid.
Do you plan to see “Rock of Ages”? Sound off in the comments and on Twitter!