Jersey Boys

The closest Clint Eastwood got to capturing the energy and joie de vivre of the original Broadway/West End hit musical was the closing ensemble dance. And sadly, as talented as John Lloyd Young is as a musical star, he is not a big-screen actor and is unable to carry the weight of the movie on his shoulders. Ultimately, other than fans of the musical/Franki Valli and The Four Seasons/50-60s music most will actually find this movie rather bland and uninteresting.

Eastwood may seem like an interesting choice to direct the movie-adaptation of a hit musical, but theoretically he did live through that period when Franki and gang were tearing up the charts, so perhaps he could recreate that energy and buzz when the world discovered them. Unfortunately, other than his wonderful eye for capturing that period, and some beautiful camera-work, there was still a strong disconnect between us and the characters.

Even a climactic moment in the musical fell slightly flatter on the large screen. Like most of the musical moments, the stage production had more impact than Eastwood's directing.

A wooden Lloyd Young did not help things. Eastwood sure could not coax a convincing actor out of him. The make-up crew also did not do a good job in masking Young's baby face and features which was very distracting. Sure, he sang absolutely well - giving goosebumps throughout - but that is not sufficient when the camera is inches from your face and every facial twitch is magnified.

Luckily we had Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito who shone more as an actor than a singer. But at least, he could carry a tune.

Christopher Walken was just sleep walking through his scenes.

That will always be one of the challenges of translating stage musicals to the big screen. Choosing the right actors and balancing the singing with the acting. For every Chicago, Hairspray and Les Miserables there will always be a Nine, The Phantom of the Opera, and now Jersey Boys.

At least the music will always be undeniably catchy and fun.


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