Written & Directed By: Paul Schrader
Cinematography: John Bailey
Editor: Jaqueline Cambas & Jill Savitt
Music By: Thomas Newman
Cast: Michael J. Fox, Joan Jett, Gena Rowlands, Michael McKean, Cherry Jones, Jason Miller, Tom Irwin, Michael Rooker, Del Close, Alan Poul, Trent Reznor
A pair of siblings must choose whether to pursue their dream of touring with their rock band or support their family and stay in Cleveland, Ohio. This is a movie i sought for years l. As I remember the trailers and advertisements and posters yet never saw it. Which is surprising as I was a huge Michael J. fox fan but also a Joan Jett fan. Then once finally watching it realizing Gena Rowlands and Michael Mckean we’re in it I am kicking myself
Gena Rowlands no matter what she is in adds a bit of dignity to not only the role but also the movie. She gives the best performance of the movie, just as Joan Jett gives the most natural one.
This film is the perfect vehicle for rock star Joan Jett. A starring role not too much of a stretch playing a troubled singer and leaves Michael J. fox for more of the dramatic scenes not to mention the face of the movie.
The film is a little Experimental as it is Joan Jett’s first real acting role where she is believable it still reeks of stunt casting. The Sam can be said of Michael J. Fox as this was one of his few dramatic roles, while usually cast in comedies. He was actually the second choice replacing original choice Bruce Springsteen who actually wrote the title song.
We never quite understand her anger until the end and eventually learn why but still seems too much for so little. The stakes of this film are never really that high. Though it seems to go more then out of it’s way to portray and showcase the characters as working class.
There is really no danger in this film and it ends up feeling so light and cleans it could be a television movie. Only the name cast keeps it as more big screen bound. As it comes off more melodramatic than anything.
The film offers a more dramatic role for Michael J. Fox, Who is ok in his role but feels lost and lightweight in the role. (A role where Bruce Springsteen was the original choice for) No matter how much he tries. As there isn’t much for him to do. Especially when it comes to his strengths. Which are usually more comedic. Yet there never seem to be any joy in his performance, nor his character. So that the film never really develops any real personality.
They could have cast any big name actor. As it’s not specifically written for him but can see why he took the role. As it gives him the chance to test his dramatic chops. Not to mention look at who was involved in the film. One can see why. As it seems like this film should have been a slam dunk but leaves nothing to really remember or for the audience to feed on that’s new. Other than the title song and seeing Joan Jett on the big screen and Michael J. Fox try to be tough.
Though I don’t think if i had seen it in my youth. The film would be so magical or mysterious to me.
In the end the film is very plain visually and kind of dull. Which even the Writer/Director Paul Schrader Was disappointed with