Tuesday, 22 July, 2014

 
Published July 18, 2014
Cinema
And the four guys struck musical gold
Jersey Boys is about family, finding yourself - and thus each other, says GEOFFREY EU
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Showstoppers: Sequences from 'Jersey Boys' (above). The movie tells the story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons.

GROWING up on the wrong side of the tracks in 1950s New Jersey, there were only three options available to you, according to a main character in Jersey Boys, Clint Eastwood's all-too-measured yet still-entertaining take on the hit Broadway musical.

You could join the army, get mixed up with the Mob, or become famous. The guys known collectively as The Four Seasons managed two out of the three: It wasn't an easy ride, but it worked out alright in the end.

Any band with more than a hundred million records sold and a solid catalogue of enduring pop songs - many of them now more than half a century old - must have done something right. Jersey Boys tells the tale of how - despite doing their level best to mess up success - they struck musical gold.

Eastwood, a filmmaker with a deliberate storytelling style and a taste for jazz, isn't an obvious choice for this gig, but he must have found something appealing in the stage musical, which has been playing to packed houses for close to a decade. The creators of the musical, Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice, contributed the screenplay here, and don't deviate too far from the original.