Rock of Ages was as awesomely bad as everyone expected it to be. All that good-time rock-and-roll is probably much more enjoyable in its original Broadway format because it’s obvious where exactly they cut certain scenes and songs (hel-LO the main character’s name is SHERRY and you didn’t do “OH SHERRY“? Come on now), even to someone who has not in fact seen the show. I would have preferred a few more mashups and MUCH more dancing but I can’t hate on it too much because my beloved Adam Shankman of SYTYCD fame directed it and he can do little to no wrong. Let’s dive right in to some character analyses:
Julianne Hough as Sherry Christian: She is absolutely ideal for this kind of super cheesy girl-just-trying-to-make-it role (i.e. Burlesque, Footloose) but that means she is now officially typecast for the rest of her perky little life. I found it amusing that in this movie she claims she’s a singer not a dancer when in actuality she is a fantastic dancer, and I was very jealous of her bouncy bouncy hair the whole time. I continue to not understand her relationship with Ryan Seacrest.
Tom Cruise as Stacee Jaxx: It pains me to give this known psychopath any sort of compliment, but he was PERFECT as the drugged-out-so-weird rock god with “real” emotions. He was so perfect it was frightening; in fact I don’t think he was really acting. The only part about his character I found to be completely unrealistic was that all these women were so attracted to him, including a reporter who started out hating him and a God-fearing politician’s wife. I mean, ew. (Does anyone know if this character was based on Axl Rose?)
Catherine Zeta-Jones as Patricia Something: Does this woman EVER age? No, let me rephrase: WHO is this woman’s plastic surgeon? She is still every bit as gorgeous as her Zorro days but unfortunately Ms. Jones’s looks did little to help her dance moves in the unbelievably awkward scene where she and her fellow church/anti-rock-and-roll ladies perform Hit Me With Your Best Shot. I was literally wincing.
Russell Brand as s Some British Sidekick Whose Name I Can’t Remember: It also pains me to say anything remotely kind about this nimrod as I find him completely unintelligent and unfunny and GOOD FOR YOU FOR LEAVING HIS SKINNY HAIRY ASS KATY PERRY, but his were some of the funniest lines in the film. After Stacee’s evil manager (Paul Giamatti) informs them he is taking all their money he says “Ciao!” and Brand says “I didn’t know Paul spoke Italian!” So I guess he’s okay when others are writing the jokes for him. I could have done without the romance between him and Alec Baldwin’s character though.
Alec Baldwin as the Club Owner Whose Name I Also Can’t Remember: Is there any role this man won’t do? See above.
Paul Giamatti as Paul the Evil Manager: Is there any role this man isn’t absolutely fantastic in? See Ides of March.
Mary J. Blige as the Strip Club Owner: Probably my favorite character due to the fact that she is the only real singer of the whole cast and her role was just so ridiculous: “Hi I’m a curvy black strip club owner and baby I can saaaave you from these mean streets of Hollywood with my nice safe whore house, come on in and listen to me sing better than you!”
Malin Akerman as Constance the Rolling Stone Reporter: Hilarious. Somebody get this woman an MTV Movie Award. (No but seriously, she didn’t even have that many speaking lines but her facial expressions were so on point. I think she deserves more/better roles in the future, and obviously all casting directors read this blog and will listen to my advice.)
So taking into consideration the price of seeing a movie these days (remember when it was $7?) if you haven’t seen this yet but you have seen the Broadway show, wait til it’s on Netflix or On Demand. And if you haven’t seen the Broadway show, see the Broadway show.
With that, I leave you with my favorite song out of the ones they covered: