It is fair to say that I was crapping myself with excitement when I heard about the release of this movie. In fact, back when I heard that the Jersey Boys would be coming to the big screen, I had never even seen the stage show and I was still excited. Skip to where we are at right now with a few live stage shows under my belt….. and boom. My enthusiasm just exploded all over your face.
We all know the story of my love for the West End version by now, I have reviewed it many times and I can’t think of a bad word to say about it.
Often, seeing a live production followed by the movie can be a recipe for disaster . There is nothing like the thrill of seeing it before your own eyes and being in the same room as these people (often hot men people) and watching the magic on stage happen. So the film adaptation can sometimes leave you feeling a bit underwhelmed.
But regardless of thinking that the movie wouldn’t compare to the stage show, I was still SO excited to see it. << Not sure i’ve mentioned my excitement enough in this post yet. Keep on keeping on.
I’m a bit odd with movies. If I want to go and watch it, I try at all costs to avoid reading anything about it. I want to judge it for myself. If I watch an advert and I don’t like it, I ain’t going to go spend my money on it. And that is unfair to the films. You can’t base something on a thirty second clip, so I deliberately avoided all trailers and clips before I went to watch the film.
I didn’t know the cast, I didn’t know if it was going to be similar to the stage show, I didn’t have a clue.
I did have hopes though. I hoped that they didn’t go down the ‘blockbuster’ road. The story of the Jersey Boys is a good one. It is true. It is everyday life with a bunch of great songs thrown in. Not everything needs to pack a huge punch. I feared that the film might be jazzed up a bit purely for the drama but I was pleasantly surprised.
Vincent Piazza plays my favourite character* (As I have stated in previous blogs, I am well aware these are also real life people and not just characters but….. ) from the stage show – Tommy De Vito. Yes , to anybody who has never read this blog before, I have a bit of a soft spot for Tommy. I’m not sure why. I’m not even sure I am meant to like Tommy. But I do. So Vincent had tough shoes to fill. The shoes of my one and only Tommy – Jon Boydon.
*Photo Credit Google Images*
Since seeing the film, I have read that Vincent was the only guy who hasn’t been part of the stage cast for Jersey Boys. You would never be able to tell. He’s fantastic. For one thing, he made me leave the movie still loving Tommy De Vito, and let’s face it…. Tommy isn’t supposed to be likable. From the moment this Tommy popped his huge cinematic face on the screen and started waffling on with mostly lines from the actual stage show, I was hooked. As you can probably see from the picture…. he looks quite young and lovable. But he definitely has the ‘been there , done that’ charm about him. He has a certain glint in his eyes that warns everybody not to mess with him. Apart from Gyp of course. Gyp DeCarlo being played by Christopher Walken was a stroke of genius.
The chemistry between these two was fantastic actually. They bounced great off each other and you could see that despite his ‘tough man’ guise, Tommy is afraid of Gyp.
I instantly fell for Vincents Tommy. He had so many funny moments in the film that I can’t really pinpoint which one was my actual favourite. He had a great voice and some mean moves with the guitar as well, which is important. After watching Jon Boydon move his hips in time to the music, it was going to take a lot to impress me, but Vincent did. I can’t say that he was the star of the movie, due to the fact that I think all four of the guys in this film deserve equal recognition.
Watching Vincent deliver the Tommy lines right from the start of the film, talking into the camera as if he were talking directly to me, instantly made me feel like I was comfortable. Seeing the stage show brought to the old fashioned streets in the film was beautiful, the set really was how I imagined it was all going to be.
It’s not long until we meet Frankie Valli. Oh Frankie. Played by the completely brilliant John Lloyd Young, he captures your heart straight away. Well he did mine anyway. Yes, Tommy De Vito is my favourite character, but Frankie is just….. Oh I don’t know. There are no words.
Nobody will ever beat Sandy Moffat as Frankie Valli for me. If you haven’t seen him as the alternate Frankie at the Piccadilly theatre in London yet, I suggest you do. You are missing out big time. Sandy brings the voice, the drama and of course…. the sexiness to the role. Very important quality. 😉
But John Lloyd Young sure managed to creep his way up into my steel heart as a lovable Frankie.
*Photo Credit – Google Images*
Sandy Moffat has some serious cheek dimples going on as Frankie Valli. He also has them going on as himself. I assume he can’t willingly put them on for the role and he definitely had them as Franz in Rock of Ages and he for sure has them as himself so….. Wait. I’ve gone off track, Dimples always make me forget what I was on about.
Ah yes, John Lloyd Young might not have the cheek dimples, but he has the chin dimple. Oh my gosh. Obviously this is a very important factor of why he was so quick to grab my attention 😉
On a serious note….. he nailed it. He was Frankie Valli. His voice is absolutely insane. I am completely jealous of ANYBODY who ever got to see him in the stage production. Every single thing about him worked, from the way he hit the high notes, to the way he delivered his lines. John Lloyd Young definitely won many hearts as the cinema walked out at the end of the movie. Granted I was the only one under the age of 60 ….. but still.
My stand out Frankie moment wasn’t Can’t Take My Eyes Off You like it usually is for me in the stage show. It was actually near the start of the movie when he is playing to small clubs. I am telling you, when John Lloyd Young fixes his eyes on a girl in the audience, you are going to wish your arse away that he was looking at you like that. It is lush.
He brings sexy to Frankie. He definitely brings sexy to Frankie. I mean…. I want to go watch it again right now just on account of the chin dimple and eyes. At one point he is rocking some wacky sideburns and even that doesn’t put me off. Nope. Noooo. I sadly think that this man isn’t going to get the recognition he deserves for this film and that is a horrible thought.
One of the reasons I loved movie Frankie so much was because of movie Bob. Enter Bob Gaudio…….
*Photo Credit – Google Images*
Played by Erich Bergen , Bob Gaudio comes sweeping into the film leaving a lasting impression. This was absolutely spot on casting. His bromance with Frankie is believable.
Erich brings everything that Bob Gaudio needs to the big screen.
Bob is a complex character who is smart yet so unaware about certain aspects of life. Erich Bergen absolutely nailed the scene where Bob pops his cherry, and when he delivers the line ….
“Tommy was right, it is more fun with another person.” …. I was laughing out loud. In fact, I am quite annoying. Because I knew what was coming , I was probably laughing before I was meant to. Sorry other people in screen 4 that night…..
It is weird, because obviously I have never seen Erich Bergen in anything before, but I felt like I knew him. He was familiar. Maybe it is because he played the movie role so similar to the way Edd Post plays the West End Gaudio. The mannerisms were all the same. The way he walked. The way he spoke. Everything felt right. He was the perfect Bob. I honestly do not have enough praise for the cast of this movie. I feel like they really did hand pick the best of the best. They had to. With rubbish casting, the film would have never even got off the ground.
Now usually, Bob Gaudio is the final puzzle piece, but I am going to bring in Nick Massi to complete the jigsaw today. A guy called Michael Lomenda played Nick , and he perhaps out of everybody, surprised me the most.
*Photo Credit – Google Images*
Other than the ‘TEN YEAR’ rant…. I don’t really care for the character of Nick in the stage show all that much. Matt Nalton who plays the West End Nick is a seriously talented guy but the character doesn’t draw me in like Tommy or Frankie does. But in this film, I found myself absolutely loving Nick.
Always just there in the background, quiet and undemanding with an occasional …. “Maybe it’s time to start my own group” thrown in, he is not really much to take notice of at first. That soon changes. I thought the stage show rooming with Tommy rant was hilarious….. but ….. the film does it better. It helps that the facial expressions of Christopher Walkens Gyp are hilarious, but most of the credit goes to Michael Lomenda himself. I was absolutely pissing myself. Not literally. The cinema cleaners have enough to deal with, I ain’t gonna add pee to the list.
Nick Massi is a man who has had enough. And the results are thoroughly entertaining. By the time Nick tells Frankie and Bob that he is leaving the group, my heart was aching for him. In the film, even this bit was quiet and understated, yet perfect. These four boys really gelled well together and I couldn’t have wished for a better cast.
*Photo Credit – Google Images*
My only one ‘thing’ about the film is the fact that when Frankies daughter Francine dies, he doesn’t sing Fallen Angel. I can forgive it though. The rest of the film makes up for the lack of this song for sure.
I have read some bad reviews about this film online. Boo. Boo to you all. If you can’t appreciate good music, talent and sexy men then that is your problem.
The film was honestly everything I hoped it would be, but even more. I try not to go into anything thinking I will hate it , but I definitely didn’t think it would live up to the stage show. And it almost does.
A few of the bad reviews state that there is a lack of drama. What a load of bull shit. It’s called every day drama. Believe it or not, not everybody runs away from mutant spiders while almost being beheaded by a dinosaur who is actually a wizard who just happens to be having an extra marital affair with the husband of the leading lady. << *Copyright MysticMonkey86 – Pitching this to film makers next week* >> . Jersey Boys has the drama of life. There is nothing more heartbreaking than losing a kid. The lack of over the top ratings storylines was one of the many reasons I originally loved Jersey Boys so those bad reviewers need to go and drink a goblet of happiness.
I thought the film was perfect. And I will be going to see it again at some point in the next 7 days. I can’t afford the stage show for a while so this will do nicely 😉 The only thing that would just make it heaven would be a soundtrack for the movie. The Broadway soundtrack is heaven, but not the same as what this would be. I’m shit with google so there might actually be a film soundtrack. I don’t know. I usually get my friends to look this stuff up for me …. I’m great to be around, as you can tell.
Take a bow Clint Eastwood, John Lloyd Young, Vincent Piazza, Erich Bergen and Michael Lomenda.
*Photo Credits – Google images*