This blog only ever reviews music movies, or movies either with a strong musical theme or particularly noticeable music.
Anyway, Jersey Boys was released recently, and I was fortunate enough to be taken to watch it as one of my birthday treats. Now I must say, I don’t always watch music movies, especially if they are self-glorifying and light of substance. But since this one was about Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, whose music I have often sung, I decided it might be time well spent, in my ongoing journey to research the careers of other musicians that I admire.
The movie is based on the stage musical of the same name, which has cleverly strung together the hits of this group, with a story woven in between the songs, all based on the real-life story of their rise to the top, the struggles along the way, and the struggles once they got there.
It’s directed by Clint Eastwood, who has a penchant for telling stories based on real life (thank you – these are stories we love to hear about), like Invictus and J. Edgar. Initially, I thought the acting was a little wooden, and I got worried that Clint had lost his form. But as the characters settled into their roles and I settled into the movie, it became a good documentary about the slew of hits that Franki Valli and the Four Seasons wrote and sung, and I learnt a lot for my own music career. My favourite of their songs, which I released as a cover on my first album, is December 1963 (Oh what a night).
It was sad to learn that Frankie Valli’s daughter died, probably of a drug overdose. The movie, made with the help of Valli and fellow muso Bob Gaudio (which would thus mean it was accurate historically), shows how Frankie encouraged his daughter, who wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps, to be patient and keep working. Wise words from a man who knows the music industry.
Jersey Boys is currently showing at cinemas around the country.