Jersey Boys has been wowing theatre audiences for over a decade and has now been brought to the big screen by Clint Eastwood, but would it be as good?
I’ve been lucky enough to see Jersey Boys twice, and although I’m a little too young to remember the success of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, I was certainly aware of some of their bigger hits. However, the sheer volume of hit music these four men from New Jersey produced blew me away.
And the movie didn’t disappoint either. Clint Eastwood has stayed true to the story told on stage, just made it more visual. Each cast member, who at certain times shares his recollection of what happened, tells the narrative and this is reminiscent of the stage production.
Erich Bergen, who plays Bob Gaudio, the talented music writer and possibly the driving factor in the success of the Four Seasons, actually played the same role on stage in Las Vegas, but was sacked. He’s joined by John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi and Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito, who may not be household names, but they certainly put forward believable performances as the boys from New Jersey who made good, despite plenty of opportunities to do otherwise. One face you will recognise is Christopher Walken, who plays Gyp DeCarlo, head of the Genovese Mafia family. And it’s worth watching the movie just to see him shimmy along during the final number.
Clint Eastwood has taken a much-loved stage show and understood that the majority of the audience for the movie would be pretty much the same. Deciding not to mess too much with a winning formula was a smart move.
Jersey Boys on the big screen may not win many awards, but it’s worth every cent you spend on the cinema admission fee.
Watch the trailer and decide for yourself.