Jersey Boys (the movie)—Directed by Clint Eastwood/ starring John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli; Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio; Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi & Vincent Piazza as Tommy Divito/screenplay written by Marshall Brickman & Rick Elice based upon their stage play/2 hr. 14 min./rated R.
Bifocal Reviews written by Ageless1der Barbara Rich & The Other Guy
(BR) I went into this movie, expecting to be disappointed because of the reviews I’d read. I feel very close to this story, because I grew up in the same neighborhood, at the same time. My brother was in a band, which Tommy Divito and Joe Pesci would frequent after hours. On some nights, Joe Pesci would play cards with us. Joey was quite a good singer. In the movie, they make Tommy out to be kind of cheap. I don’t remember him that way. My ex-husband was also a musician, with the same group as my brother and they hung out in the same circles. Tommy Divito somehow showed up at my son’s second birthday. When Tommy found out what was happening, he puIled a $20 bill out of his pocket (a lot of money in those days) and handed it to my little boy (of course, he may have just made a big score gambling). I want to be non-bias, but when this movie was over, I was very proud to be from Jersey. I would see this movie again, if for no other reason than for the familiarity and nostalgia it held for me. This is a good story and I thought it was well done, with just a few campy scenes. I believe the story should have ended with the last words uttered by the Frankie Valli character, “When all is said and done, it was about the music,” and I believe it was also about a unique sound and a loyalty of a group of guys from New Jersey. I give this film a healthy four binoculars.
(OG) I have to say that I unexpectedly enjoyed Clint Eastwood’s version, in some ways a little more than the play, even though it was obvious that the writers (of both) were trying to stay true to the stage version. In fact, the only scene that rubbed me completely as inappropriate came at the end credits, when the screen actors put together a big production finale. I thought that was completely unnecessary. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the play well enough to have seen it three times. I’m not as intimately involved with the characters, as Barbara is, but I am well aware of the price of fame (especially in the entertainment fields), and can appreciate the truthfulness of the storyline. Part of the fact that my expectations were exceeded may have come from some slightly negative reviews, possibly from those who are confusing Clint Eastwood’s questionable past political decisions with his movie-making abilities. Ultimately, I have to give this one four binoculars. It was much better than average, not great, but well worth the time.