I have seen this movie a number of times and have enjoyed it. I love 80's music and I enjoy musicals so it was a given that I would like the movie even if it was cheesy - which it is. I will say this though before I go on. I rented the movie on Amazon after seeing it five or six times over the course of a few years and realized that I had been watching the extended version with some scenes cut out of the actual cinema release. The movie I saw tonight on Amazon was the cinema release and was missing those cut scenes and BOY did I miss them. One of the best scenes is completely cut out and that is when Tom Cruise's Stacee Jaxx goes into a bar where Julianne Hough's Sherrie is working and they sing "Rock me Like a Hurricane" together in the VIP room of the club. It's a great song and the scene is excellent. And you won't see it unless you see the extended or unedited version. It is on YouTube though. A few other scenes are missing as well but don't take much away from the final cut.
Having said that, this movie is a dramady. It tries to be funny and it works some of the time and it tries to be poignant and it works some of the time. The music is amazing for anyone who likes 80's rock songs and all the actors used their own voices for their songs including the star of the movie, Tom Cruise, who has a great voice and played the aging, nearly washed up rock star perfectly. I never thought I would believe that Tom Cruise was a drunken, long haired, 80's rock god but I did while I was watching this movie. He is hardly recognizable with his long hair and tattooed body and he has the entitled, out of control rock star shtick down pat. I don't think anyone could have done a better job. He is the best actor AND singer in the movie.
The other stars are all fine. Casting could have been better for some characters but they all add flavor to the movie. The movie is essentially a love story as well as an ode to rock and roll. The dialog is weak but the music makes up for it. Lots of well known stars are in this and all sing, some of whom do not sing at all in general and probably shouldn't again. Hello, I'm talking to you,. Russell Brand!
If you are looking for a serious film, this isn't it. If you're looking for a film that has songs sung in perfect tune by every cast member, this isn't it. But if you like a little cheese with your 80's rock, this movie is good fun. I really enjoy watching it. It goes from serious and touching to downright silly in a heartbeat but it's one of those films that just has to be watched with an open mind and enjoyed for the memories and the music.
The storylines are all over the place with many, many little subplots which make it interesting at every turn. If you can, try to catch the deleted "Rock You Like a Hurricane" scene on YouTube or on the extended release because it's one of the better scenes in the movie, in my opinion. I suspect it didn't make the cut because it depicted the female lead, Sherrie, as not quite as innocent as she seemed and they wanted to keep her wide eyed and wholesome.
Don't blink during the last quarter of the film or you will miss seeing some very recognizable 80's rock stars in the crowd where the rock lovers and the naysayers clash and sing a mash up. Naturally they are on the side of the rock lovers..
The movie, made in 2012., isn't dated at all because it is set in 1987 so it will always be relevant as an era movie. Give it a chance. It grows on you. That's why I ended up watching it again tonight!