MOVIE REVIEW: Jersey Boys. Starring John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza and Christopher Walken; directed by Clint Eastwood
Music can evoke strong memories and emotions. One of my fondest childhood memories is sitting on the lounge floor, surrounded by Mum and Dad's vinyls, listening to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.
More recently, thanks to a particular episode of Sherlock, I become overwhelmed with a sense of sadness whenever I hear The Four Seasons' December, 1963 (Oh, What A Night).
There's no denying that music is powerful and that is why musicals are one of my favourite movie genres.
Having missed the opportunity to see the stage show, I was excited to see the film adaptation of Jersey Boys.
Directed by the legendary Clint Eastwood, this film tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons from their beginnings, to their rise to fame and finally their reunion in 1990 as they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
I'm ashamed to admit that until now my knowledge of the group has been limited to the vinyls of my childhood and the countless singalongs to hits like Big Girls Don't Cry, Sherry and Rag Doll.
I adore them and their entire catalogue of work including Frankie Valli's solo material.
His biggest hit, Can't Take My Eyes Off You, was the song my husband and I danced to at our wedding.
I had no idea that the group had mob connections.
Sadly, even with the gangster element and, of course, the oh-so- catchy harmonies, the plot took a while to kick into gear. I was eager to get to the finger clicking and feet shuffling - Jersey Boys is pitched as a musical after all. Thankfully, by the second half of the film, the musical itch is finally scratched and I was no longer sitting still in my seat. I caught myself singing along - quietly, of course.
Tony Award winner John Lloyd Young reprises his stage role as Frankie Valli, transitioning from theatre star to movie lead.
His voice is pitch perfect and he has a captivating presence on screen, helped by his magnetic eyes. However, his exaggerated acting style is definitely more suited to the stage.
Although slow in parts, I really enjoyed Jersey Boys.
It reignited my love for the group's music and I have been listening to their greatest hits and the film's soundtrack ever since seeing it. Go and enjoy.
- The Southland Times