"Run away!" (And thank you, Monty Python.)
Normally, I don't do completely negative reviews of movies or books, but there is so much here not to like. The story and writing thereof is a rehash of every movie musical ever made: The girl from flyover country comes to Hollywood to become a singer, gets her suitcase stolen just off the bus. Meets the gofer at the big rock club who is also a rock wanna-be, who has such terrible stage fright that it takes him four whole seconds to get over it the first time the girl asks him to play something for her. They fall in love in a montage.
The old has-been rock star is coming to the club play his last gig. He has a pet baboon named "Hey Man." Smartest character in the movie.
The opening act goes into rehab on the day of the gig. Is there anybody who has ever seen a movie who doesn't know who is going to step in to replace the drop-outs?
Or anybody who doesn't know that as soon as boy-gets-girl, he is going to be boy-loses-girl, suffer the requisite agony for his stupid mistake before they get back together? She quits and winds up working the pole in a strip club–a PG club, no more skin revealed than you'd see on the fake beach at Disneyworld. He gets snapped up by the sleazy agent and put into a hip-hop boy band with a lot of zees in their names ...
Help me, Spock!
Throw in a crusading mayor's wife who is out to get rid of the filthy rock and roll, and who has A Deep Dark Secret concerning the old rock star, that the baboon could figure out the first time her husband wonders why she hates the rocker so much. I mean, come on!
I think they were trying to be wry, to play with the tropes, but it skews closer to Rocky Horror than it does to Grease. Way closer. Might wind up becoming a cult movie. It's that bad.
Hell, it doesn't even look like Hollywood. Well, no, strike that. It does look like Hollywood. The one in Florida, because that's where it was shot. Sets, on a sound stage, and it looks it.
Based on a stage play, and every actor in it is wasted in his or her role. It was as if all the stage mikes went out and they were playing to the cheap seats, hamming it up and chewing scenery so broadly that it could have been a silent film. The better the actor, the more they seemed to phone it in. In this case, you have to blame the director, because at least some of these actors know better.
No, Tom, I want you to be really, really drunk here, and unhinged. You are almost completely burned out, there's just a tiny, itty-bitty spark left down in the depths of your drug and booze-addled brain. (Which gets relit when the reporter from Rolling Stone sticks her tongue in Tom's ear ...)
I laughed at one line, when the drunk rock star calls Rolling Stone looking for his new love, and the guy on the other end worries about being killed by a nutso on his way home.
If you are a fan of eighties glam and arena rock, you'll like the music. I think there's a crowd scene in which a lot of old guys with long hair look suspiciously like some of the groups whose music is featured. Didn't see Steve Perry of Journey in there, but his music is well-represented.
My wife and I kept watching, thinking, Well, it has to get better, right?
No. We were wrong. It never did.
Movie died at the box office, and rightfully so.
Stay away. You'll never get those two hours of your life back, and it will feel like a lot longer.
P.S. If you want to see an adult movie? Crank the cable or rent The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Yes, it's a movie about old Brits who go off to India to retire and die, but an absolute delight. Dame Judi Dench could read the phone book and it would worth paying to see and hear.