Reviewed by: Brian C. Johnson
HYPOCRISY IN THE CHURCH—“I would never be a Christian; they’re a bunch of hypocrites.”
Should I save sex for marriage? Answer
How can I deal with temptations? Answer
music in the Bible
dancing in the Bible
How do I know what is right from wrong? Answer
How can I decide whether a particular activity—such as smoking, gambling, etc.—is wrong? Answer
Are we living in a moral Stone Age? Answer
GAY—What’s wrong with being gay? Answer
Homosexual behavior versus the Bible: Are people born gay? Does homosexuality harm anyone? Is it anyone’s business? Are homosexual and heterosexual relationships equally valid?
What about gays needs to change? Answer
It may not be what you think.
Read stories about those who have struggled with homosexuality
|Featuring:||Tom Cruise … Stacee Jaxx
Julianne Hough … Sherrie Christian
Malin Akerman … Constance Sack
Bryan Cranston … Mayor Mike Whitmore
Alec Baldwin … Dennis Dupree
Catherine Zeta-Jones … Patricia Whitmore
Russell Brand … Lonnie
Paul Giamatti … Paul Gill
Diego Boneta … Drew Boley
Will Forte … Mitch Miley
|Director:||Adam Shankman—“A Walk to Remember,” “Hairspray,” “Bedtime Stories”|
Corner Store Entertainment
|Distributor:||Warner Bros. Pictures|
It’s a tale as old as time. Small town girl with big dreams and a song escapes her ho-hum life and heads to the big city to make that dream a reality. Along the way to capturing her star, she meets some ne’er-do-wells, makes some really bad choices, and realizes that her real dream was to fall into the arms of her Prince Charming, her Knight in Shining Armor, her dreamboat. Same old, same old.
Young wanna-be starlet, Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough—“Footloose,” “Burlesque”) leaves Oklahoma with stars in her eyes and a suitcase full of autographed vinyl albums and gets off the bus in Hollywood. There she meets Drew Boley (Diego Boneta—better known for his TV roles on “90210,” “Pretty Little Liars,” and “Mean Girls 2”), a strapping young musician paying his dues by working at the hottest rock joint in Los Angeles. Yada, yada, yada, they fall in love and beautiful music together—literally, this is a 80s rock musical, after all (think “Glee” on steroids with a truckload of extra strength super hold hairspray!).
As usual, their young love is tested by external forces; in this case, Stacee Jaxx, a rock legend, alcohol-guzzling womanizer, and otherwise tortured soul (masterfully played by Tom Cruise) shows up, and their love gets a huge test. Stacee’s troubles are also compounded because the new mayor Mike Whitmore (played by Bryan Cranston) and his wife, Patricia (Catherine Zeta-Jones) have plans to clean up the Los Angeles strip—which includes shutting down the famous “Bourbon Room.”
As a fan of 1980s rock and heavy metal, this movie had me ready to dance down the aisles. The list of hits goes on and on, from the likes of Journey, Van Halen, Twisted Sister, Whitesnake, Def Leppard, Pat Benatar and more.
Sadly, in terms of the moral and Christian values presented, the praise stops there. Beware—the PG-13 rating is a misnomer. The film is rife, as one would expect, with overt sexuality. I would love Hollywood ratings makers to understand that just because a film doesn’t show nudity doesn’t mean that it is OK to be shown to young teens. Maybe that message should be sent to parents, as well. Surprisingly, the language was not as coarse as I thought it would be; it’s still not recommended for younger ears.
One subject that pertains to Christian viewers is that of the influence of secular music on individuals and society. Jaxx and his fellow rockers are frequently called to question about the impact of their music—regrettably, the film pokes fun at the Christian community who wants to promote godly values. Once again, the Hollywood machine promotes the stereotypical image of Christians as nothing more than hypocritical and dogmatic. Patricia Whitmore and her cronies are gyrating Bible thumpers who lead double lives.
All in all, while it was refreshing to see Tom Cruise in an atypical role, and an incredibly star-studded cast, including the likes of Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, and Mary J. Blige, each belting out songs in tune; the film is flat and predictable. It provides rocking musical sentimentality, but it is definitely not for kids.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: Heavy—OMG (12), “Jesus” (2), “Oh Chr_st,” “Sweet baby J_sus,” “My G_d,” “G_d,” “Oh G_d,” “hell” (2), “d_mn,” “f” word, “s” words (10), “t_ts,”, etc. / Sex/Nudity: Heavy—numerous scantily clad people, a homosexual kiss between two men (including pelvic thrust), sexual lyrics, many vulgar sexual comments and actions
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.