R, 134 minutes
“Jersey Boys” was fairly ignored at the box office, but it’s just the sort of movie that clicks on video.
It’s got a historical story that appeals to older audiences, not to mention a soundtrack that plays like a Top 40 list from the early 1960s. Couple that with winning performances and a dark – though not too dark – look at the underbelly of the music biz, and you’ve got all the ingredients for a hit.
The story of The Four Seasons is the story of America’s transition from the relative stability and conservatism of the 1950s to the upheaval and pandemonium of the ‘60s. The band, who combined the smooth vocals of the old-timey barbershop quartet with the beats and theatrics of rock, owned the airwaves prior to the British invasion.
Based on the Broadway show and directed by Clint Eastwood, “Jersey Boys” stars John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, whose effortless falsetto was somehow both angelic and masculine. Young, who also starred in the stage version, manages to play Valli from age 16 to 60 without ever straining.
A lot of movies get lost in the shuffle of summer, and most of them deserve to. But “Jersey Boys” nails its high notes.