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FILM REVIEW: JERSEY BOYS (15)

“Go ahead… make my Play.”

If you thought Clint Eastwood was an odd choice as Director for an adaptation of the award winning musical Jersey Boys, you were right.

I may be wrong, but the legendary western actor doesn’t strike me as a man that has a passion for musical theatre – it certainly comes across that way on the screen. The high-energy song-and-dance numbers made the live version a huge success, so I was surprised to see that Eastwood had pushed them into the background.

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Like the stage version, Jersey Boys focuses on four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey. Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young), Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza), Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) and Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen) come together to form The Four Seasons. As the iconic group become increasingly popular, the pressures of success begin to take their toll. Their highs and lows are presented on screen alongside their hit songs such as Big Girls Don’t Cry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You and Sherry.

Jersey Boys is at its best when John Lloyd Young is singing. As Frankie Valli, his piercingly angelic voice is close to perfection.

What’s most disappointing is that it feels like most of the movie’s heart and soul was put into the final 15 minutes. If Jersey Boys in its entirety had half the energy of the ending, I may have been as satisfied as I was by the stage version.

Perhaps if I had walked into the cinema prepared for more of a drama than a musical, I may have walked out more fulfilled.

See Jersey Boys (and much more) at the Showcase Cinema now. Visit www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for the latest up-to-date showtimes. You can also join the chat on Twitter @showcasecinemas or on Facebook by searching for ‘Showcase CinemasUK’.

Mikey Clarke

Genre: Musical & Drama

Cast: John Lloyd Young, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda, Vincent Piazza & Christopher Walken

Running Time: 2hrs 14mins

Director: Clint Eastwood

See it if you liked: Walk the Line & That Thing You Do!

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Written by ESP Magazine

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