Monday, August 25, 2008

"The Rocker"

It’s best to describe this one as the “Little film that could”, as it delivers whole-heartedly the entertainment expected of summer movie fare. Whether it was over their heads, or under their radar, the folks in Review land have missed the forest for the trees on this one. Superficial Jack Black comparisons aside, there really are no other pertinent similarities. Unlike the “School of Rock”, this little gem is truly an Ensemble piece; with most of the other characters taking on almost as much weight as Wilson’s “Fish” Fishman. In contrast, the motley ensemble of “School of Rock” had much less screen time, acting more as obligatory set pieces to Mr. Blacks character. The story of the Rocker is just as much the Band’s story as it is the titles’ protagonists. Indeed, Teddy’s brooding; fatherless songwriter is strong enough to almost cast him as a second lead. Throw in the subtext of his mutual attraction with Emma, Josh’s difficulty with women and love-struck groupie subplots, and you have a tapestry of plot arcs not even approached by the simplistic “School”. This is enhanced by other spin-off characters such Christina Applegate’s turn as Ted’s adorable mom, Josh’s father, who enthusiastically longs for his former juvenile glory, and the hopelessly jerky promoter. Far from being Citizen Kane, “The Rocker” pulls of a respectable effort in the genre of summer film fun. I’m entertained by Jack Black as much as the next moviegoer; But unlike my myopic counterparts, it doesn’t fog my lenses…

- CB