Jersey Boys is the true story of the hit band, The Four Seasons. The film follows the story of four men, Frankie Valli (John Lloyd Young), Tommy DeVito (Vincent Piazza), Nick Massi (Michael Lomenda) and Bob Gaudio (Erich Bergen), as they grow up in New Jersey. They start out in a life of crime, stealing to make a living, but when they start to sing they find themselves in a whole new world. A world of fame and the stresses it brings along with it, stresses that could tear them apart.
Jersey Boys was one of my most anticipated films of the year, but it's also one of the most disappointing. Everything was looking great for this film. The film had Clint Eastwood at the helm, the trailers were incredible and the lives of the Four Seasons are thrilling in its own right. Unfortunately the film fails to live up to all the hype and the execution is dull, lengthy and terribly acted. It really is one of the most disappointing films I've seen all year.
The musical numbers were fantastic, however. The best thing about this film is the soundtrack. The music is enough to want to make you leap from your seat and dance in the theatre. Unfortunately the music is one of the few compliments I can give this film and when music that's decades old is the best part of your film then I'd say we've got another forgettable biopic on our hands.
The performances in the film vastly differ. There were a few performances, Christopher Walken especially, that stand out amongst the mainly mediocre acting. Performances from Vincent Piazza and Erich Bergen are show stealers, but when it came to the rest of the cast it went both ways. If they did well in one scene then they'd go horribly in another. For me, the weakest performance was from Michael Lomenda, who just looked like he was uninterested through all of his scenes. One reason for this is because his character doesn't really have a lot to do either, which was unfortunate.
The film tries too hard to be Goodfellas the Musical. Just by watching the trailer I was getting a Goodfellas vibe and the entire first act of the film is essentially Goodfellas the Musical, I wasn't wrong. The film even copies several techniques used when breaking the fourth wall that Goodfellas used first. This breaking the fourth wall was done so pathetically, and it had no real need to be there. A dumb decision was made by the writers and that was to make all four of the main characters break this wall which only led to more confusion as to who the main main character was and if they were talking to us or if they were talking to another character in some scenes.
The film's runtime is a major issue. The film runs just over two hours, two hours and fourteen minutes to be exact, but it feels close to three hours. Many moments dragged on and some of the minor plot lines weren't even necessary. Several scenes alter the flow of the film and feel out of place. The film is almost too eventful, making it unbearably frustrating to try and watch.
To sum up, Jersey Boys is another forgettable biopic with a lengthy runtime, irrelevant minor plot lines, varying acting skills and a style that tries too hard to be Goodfellas. There are a few decent performances and the music's catchy, but that's it.