TMG Scale 7.0    MPAA Rating: PG-13
Starring Tom Cruise, Alex Baldwin, Russell Brand, Paul Giamatti, Catherine Zeta-Jones

Not at all what I expected.  A bit corny (most musicals are at times) and oddly constructed, it was still a fairly good time. I would have preferred more rock and roll, more Cruise and less goofball girl from Oklahoma trying to make it in LA. The Cruise critics are all off base though. Cruise was superb and his singing was pretty impressive.

This story and screenplay was meant for the stage and better left there. Musicals almost always are. [I saw the stage version and barely recognized it as the same production.]  I give the director great kudos for trying to do something a bit different. But different does not always make for great and this film will soon be forgotten. The storyline itself is older than the hills. Young, hot girl from the Midwest takes bus to LA to become a singer, waits tables and gets her heart broken. The side story of the Bourbon Room (where most of movie is set)  run by burnout Alec Baldwin and his “buddy” Russell Brand was amusing,  but more of a Saturday Night live skit. Paul Giamatti lent an aura of legitimate drama and skilled acting as rock legend, Stacee Jaxx (Cruise)  manager.  The whole character of Cruise was sort of a fun cross breeding of Elvis, Alice Cooper and Ted Nugent.  I wonder what their kids would look like?  

Novelty lookout: Look for the brief cameo of REO Speedwagon’s lead singer, Kevin Cronin in the fan rope line near the end of the film!

This is a fun Friday night date movie, but certainly no Oscar.