It’s been a while since I’ve seen a musical-turned-film that I’ve enjoyed this much. I think the last one I enjoyed had to have been Rent(2005). That being said, as with most musicals that make it to the big screen—with minor exceptions like The Sound of Music (1965) and Grease (1978)—it’s lacking that “classic” feeling that’s bound to leave those expecting the authentic Broadway touch disappointed. (So depending on what your personal preferences are, you might be severely disappointed.) I think if they were going for that, this probably wasn’t exactly the right casting for it, but I did find myself enjoying it for what it was. It seemed like everyone involved was having a good time throughout the whole process, and there were definitely some covers of songs that I really enjoyed.
Tom Cruise had to be my favorite part about this film—I think he performed his role very well. In fact, I think even I felt a little bit of the magic from his Stacee Jaxx, and would totally see this movie again just for that. I find it refreshing too, since he was one of my favorite actors growing up and it’s been a while since I’ve seen him in a role that I actually liked—the last two I can think of off the top of my head are his roles in Minority Report (2002) and Collateral (2004).
The sound quality, I think, was the most disappointing thing about this film for me. It could have been the theater I was in, but I’d be a little surprised if it was since the theater I frequent usually has a really good sound system. I think the best way to describe the experience was it was like being in a concert that wasn’t quite turned up all the way. Almost, but not quite. When the musical numbers would run, I was expecting a full-on blast of sound, but instead the music just reached my ears, but didn’t fill them completely. I think if it had, I probably would have been a lot more engrossed in the movie.
There were some parts of this film too, that sort of reminded me a little of Burlesque (2010). If you’ve seen that one and watched this movie too, you probably know what I mean. Julianne Hough is another “small town girl” that goes to LA in hopes of making it. There’s also a part where she ends up in a *MINI SPOILER ALERT* gentleman’s club, looking for work, that reminded me of the burlesque club in the other movie.
All in all, the story at times is a little too random, and not all of it seems to make sense, but I personally didn’t find it a pain to sit through. I think other members of the audience in the theater I was in enjoyed it as well, as there was definitely laughter over some funny scenes that weren’t all in the trailer.
FINAL VERDICT: C
Again, personally I’d like to give this something in the B-range, but I don’t think that would be fair on the whole. I personally think it’s good enough to watch in theaters, but if musicals aren’t your thing or if you have extremely high expectations for this movie, then you might be better off waiting for it to become available for rent or just skipping it altogether.