Sure, I knew it wasn’t the coolest thing in the world to be caught humming the catchy melody of Frankie Valli’s “My Eyes Adored You” or “Swearin’ to God” as I was getting out of high school and staring my first year of college back in 1975, but what the heck.
My father surely had raised me as a kid who knew enough about the music of the 1960s to be familiar with this man’s voice from the Four Seasons and his previous solo love song hit, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”
So I made room with all the loud and fast rock in my heart for a little Frankie.
This ran through my mind as I prepared to see “Jersey Boys” with my dear wife Karen, elbow-to-elbow in a crowded Sunday matinee theater in Syracuse, N.Y., with a whole bunch of people who I could tell were probably more familiar with all of the details of Valli’s life about to unfold on the screen than me. Many of them had probably seen the musical of the same title, a hit on Broadway and then a traveling production that had played our city. I hadn’t, which actually added to my high hopes. (Sorry Jimmy Van Heusen and Frank Sinatra, for that one, but, darn, I was sitting in Syracuse but in a Jersey mood.)
I did not like the work from director Clint Eastwood for what seemed to me hours, but actually was just the start of the tale of this Italian teen finding fellows to tutor him in the neighborhood ways of crime and song. The scenes were practically in black and white.
One tactic was to have actors look into the camera and narrate to move the story along.
I may have yawned.
But at last the story got to the point where good songs were found, the actors’ chemistry and Eastwood’s cinematography got more colorful, and I rather appreciated this tale of Frankie Valli’s battle to make something of himself, with many others’ destinies spinning around him.
If you’d like to read my review on the Syracuse New Times site, click the link below.
Do you have a favorite movie made from the life and songs of a musician or band? What makes a good movie about real life stars of the past? Are you still a fan of the 1960s sound?