From the bright lights of Broadway to the silver screen comes this epic tale of the little band that could, Jersey Boys. Originally this biopic turned musical tells the story of the formation, rise and eventual downfall of the Four Seasons. Taken by Clint Eastwood this tale has become a pretty powerful film. Just to fill you in on who these boys where, they were the most popular rock group of their day, until the arrival of the Beatles and in my opinion though the Beatles are one of the greats they lacked something that the Four Seasons had and that’s a voice as unique as Frankie Valli. They knocked out a lot of classics such as Sherry, Walk like a man, December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) and Working My Way Back to You, their songs are instantly recognizable and that is why you’re going to love this film.
Normally musicals stick with the standard big dance numbers, however this film decides to focus on the story of the band. Opting to use the music numbers as parts of performances or rehearsals, even playing their songs as a standard soundtrack would use them. The casting was just perfect even using Tony award winning actor (He won the award for staring in Jersey boys) John Lloyd Young to play Valli’s role. Just listen to the soundtrack and you will see why there was really no other choice.
As with any Clint Eastwood film, whether it be the inspirational Invictus, inspiring Letters from Iwo Jima, brutally honest Gran Torino, hilarious Space Cowboys or just brilliant Million Dollar baby, the direction is superb. He really shows us that he has no comfort zone, the man can do anything. Not giving anything away but the camera work on the funeral scene was brilliant and to keep it just a little closer to the original musical it was nice to have the cast occasionally turn to the camera and break the 4th wall by directly communicating with the audience.
I won’t lie, as with any musical film it follows the formula of a no body becomes famous and drama happens but they come back and wow us all. A lot of people hate this formula but there is truth in all these stories so how can we question it? It’s really hard to do this and not give too much away but what I will tell you is if you’re not an expert on the Four Seasons history you will be pleasantly surprised by the song that Frankie’s record label didn’t want him to put out, referring to it as an art piece that no one want to hear.
A wonderful film that will suck you and the time will just fly by, your only regret will be that you can’t hit those high notes.