'Rock of Ages': Aside From All the Singing, What Makes This Thing a Musical?

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No matter what kind of musical it is, the director and charismatic cast belting out their lines in the production are beholden to certain format for it to be considered true to the genre. It doesn't matter if the music was written specifically for the stage. It doesn't matter if it is My Fair Lady or the Who's Tommy, watch both of them side by side and you'll notice some definite similarities (as weird as that sounds). 

Rock of Ages (released June 15th), is a broadway show adapted for the screen and it still hit the basic song format despite the fact that they use rock songs of the 80's (and the fact that the notes that the $15 million film hit at the box office are pretty damn flat for a film that costed just under $70 million to make). This is the list of what songs in this star-studded '80s extravaganza that fit the stringent criteria of a musical. Didn't think we knew this kinda shit huh? Guess again.

1. "Sister Christan" (establishment song)

"Sister Christan" is the establishment song, small town girl Sherrie Christan (Juilanne Hough), moves to the big city of Los Angeles from Oklahoma looking for her big break into the music career. The song choice is to help establish not only what her character is looking for but what each character is looking for within the movie. Besides, what better way to kick things off than with a little Night Ranger?


2. "We Built This City/ Were not Gonna Take it" (plot point)

"We Built This City/ Were not Gonna Take it" are the plot points in the movie. One side, "We Built This City" sang by Lonny (Russell Brand) is directed toward the protagonist about how they will not take over his club. Patricia Whitmore (Catherine Zeta-Jones) is going to try shut down their club because she is against not only what the club is doing to the city but the fact that they have Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) performing his last concert at the site. This plot point of a song represents what each character is fighting for and how they end up fighting one another.

3. "I want to Know What Love is" ( I want song)

Middle-aged rock star Stacee Jaxx wants (Tom Cruise) to know that there is more to life then just drugs, sex, and rock 'n' roll (pfff, what else is there?). With this obvious song pick "I Want to Know What Love is" (they obviously don't try to disguise this one),  he attempts to figure that out during this corny croon session with Rolling Stone writer Constance Sack (Malin Akerman). Each character through out the movie has an "I want song." For example, Drew (Diego Boneta)  belts out the words to "Waiting for a Girl Like You" which is aimed for his love interest, Sherrie.

4. "Harden My Heart" (climax song)

Small town girl Sherrie finds out that life in showbiz is much harder then she thought it was and on a rainy night she comes across strip club owner Justice Charlier (Mary J. Blige) who gives her a job--stop us if this sounds familiar. "Harden My Heart" is the climax of the movie, when the reality of life sets in that it is not as easy as she thought it was going to be to make it in the city of Hollywood.


5. "Don't Stop Believing" (Reprise of opening song)

Journey's classic arena anthem,"Don't Stop Believing," is the final song of the movie, which is the reprise of the original song. Although the reprise is a different song, it has the same message that one should never give up on their dreams because with a little bit of work and struggle, you too can become a rockstar (at your local karaoke bar).

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3 comments
melodyrhymes
melodyrhymes

I can't wait to watch it because I love musical film, and it would be fun if I will watch it with my friends. And I love the last song "Don't stop believing" because you are right what ever circumstances don't give up until you reach your dreams.

 

Aiza

My blog: http://www.etagerederangement.com

sustain
sustain

This is just another reason why the theatre's gone down the tubes. There's so little originality these days: revival upon revival and adaptation after adaptation. This pretty much got its boost from the Lincoln Center's production of Contact back in 2000, a show sporting flashy dance moves to canned recordings of music with no singing and pretty much no dialogue. I guess this is a step up, but there's no way in hell this constitutes an original musical in the way that a show like Book of Mormon does. 

Risk Software
Risk Software

The song choice is to help establish not only what her character is looking for but what each character is looking for within the movie. Besides, what better way to kick things off than with a little Night Ranger?

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