8:00 PM, 21st July, 2012
Rock of Ages is an 80s rock 'n' roll musical, based on Chris D'Arienzo's acclaimed jukebox Broadway musical of the same name. This filmic adaptation stars a surprising number of famous faces, including quite a few that you wouldn't necessarily associate with a musical, let alone a rock and roll one!
The plot is set around wannabe rocker Drew Boley (Boneta) and an aspiring actress Sherrie Christian (Hough) both working at the Bourbon Room owned by Dennis Dupree (Alec Baldwin) and Justice Charlier (Mary J. Blige) while they try to make it in the big city. The pair fall in love during the 'rise' of rock and roll in the late 80s, (the hits of which seem to epitomise their own trials and tribulations perfectly) and the formula for a cheesy musical is complete.
The musical features many classic 80s rock ballads and anthems, including many current karaoke favourites: "We Built This City" by Starship, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" by Poison, Foreigner's "I Want To Know What Love Is", and Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" to name but a few.
Don't take the storyline too seriously (it's only an excuse to get to the next fantastic musical set piece); just let Rock of Ages take you on a light-hearted, humorous, upbeat ride with a killer soundtrack and hilarious (in hindsight) fashion.
9:46 PM, 21st July, 2012
Love Me Tonight is the third and best collaboration of leads Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald. Chevalier is a poor tailor, the best at his craft who's just completed a big order for rakish nobleman Gilbert de Varèze (Ruggles). de Varèze also happens to be a deadbeat who's stiffed half the merchants of Paris, and they appoint our hero as a committee of one to settle the accounts. Off goes Chevalier to the countryside to get de Varèze to cough up.
Chevalier and MacDonald are incredibly appealing in a rich-girl-poor-boy musical romance. It's one of those rare films where the girl runs away from the palace to follow her true love and you don't roll your eyes, but instead cross your fingers and hope like crazy that they will be together. It also doesn't hurt that Chevalier is devastatingly handsome.
I'm not a big fan of golden oldie films in general, or musicals for that matter, but between the corny bits I found this film to be funny and imaginative; and in the end I was captivated by what I've been told is one of the best musicals of that decade.