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Movie Breakdown: Jersey Boys

June 18, 2014


People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing lead us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

The story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons has been a hit on Broadway, so of course it’s time for a big screen version.  Dirty Harry directs.

The Reality:

I’m not at all sure what Clint Eastwood was trying to do with Jersey Boys.  The film is so all over the place that around halfway through it I realized I couldn’t figure out who or what I was supposed to be interested in.  Was it the music?  Maybe.  Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons certainly had a zillion hits, but the film itself isn’t a musical, and the music that is there isn’t really explored much.  But perhaps the music wasn’t the point, right?  After all, the film is called Jersey Boys, so maybe I was actually supposed to latch onto the dynamics of the group and how their Jersey upbringing affected them?  Unlikely, I think, since the majority of the dramatic and interesting character moments throughout the movie are diffused by poorly timed segments that break the fourth wall.  You know what, though?  Now that I think about it, maybe I was just supposed to glance at the act’s music and briefly look at the people behind it all and just enjoy the ride.  Well, I couldn’t exactly do that, because Jersey Boys has one of those particularly drab Clint Eastwood color palettes and there isn’t a single scene in the film that is vibrant or fun.  So, unfortunately, I have no idea what Eastwood wanted me as a viewer to take away from his monotone music biography other than the fact that Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons existed.

I can’t say that Jersey Boys is the worst film to come along in 2014, but it’s definitely the most unfocused.

The Lesson:

Pick a lane, Eastwood!

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