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Rock of Ages is a 2012 American romantic musical comedy film directed by Adam Shankman. The film is an adaptation of the 2006 rock jukebox Broadway musical of the same name by Chris D'Arienzo. Originally scheduled to enter production in summer 2010 for a 2011 release, it eventually started production in May 2011 and was released on June 15, 2012.

The film stars country singer Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta leading an ensemble cast that includes Russell BrandPaul GiamattiCatherine Zeta-JonesMalin ÅkermanMary J. BligeBryan CranstonIkue Ohtani, and Tom Cruise. The film features the music of several 1980s rock artists including Def LeppardJourney,ScorpionsPoisonForeignerGuns N' RosesPat BenatarJoan JettBon JoviDavid Lee RothTwisted SisterWhitesnake, and others.

The film received mixed critical reviews, with a 41% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 208 reviews. However, Tom Cruise's performance was particularly lauded. The related film soundtrack also did critically well, certified Gold in Canada.

ContentsEdit

 [hide*1 Plot

Plot[edit]Edit

In 1987, Sherrie Christian arrives in Los Angeles from Oklahoma with dreams of becoming a famous singer, while barback Drew Boley prepares for another night of work at The Bourbon Room ("Sister Christian/Just Like Paradise/Nothin' But a Good Time"). As Sherrie approaches The Bourbon, her suitcase is stolen, including her records. Seeing the incident, Drew tries to catch the robber, but fails. He comforts Sherrie and, upon learning of her situation, gets her a job at the Bourbon Room as a waitress.

The club's owner, Dennis Dupree, and his right-hand man, Lonny Barnett, are trying to find a way to deal with unpaid taxes that threaten the club, wishing their love of rock 'n' roll could keep it alive. Drew and Sherrie go to a Tower Records store and confess their dreams of becoming famous ("Juke Box Hero/I Love Rock 'n Roll"). In hopes of raising enough money to clear up their debt, Dennis and Lonny finally decide to book Stacee Jaxx, a famous rock star preparing for his final gig with his band Arsenal, to perform at the Bourbon where he got his start. Upon hearing of Stacee's upcoming concert, Patricia Whitmore, the religiously conservative wife of Mayor Mike Whitmore, organizes her church to protest in front of the Bourbon Room, planning to shut them down in an attempt to rid L.A. of its "sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll" image ("Hit Me with Your Best Shot").

Drew and Sherrie's relationship progresses and they start to fall in love ("Waiting for a Girl Like You"), with Drew admitting he has started writing a song for Sherrie. On the night of Arsenal's final show, Dennis learns that their opening act has cancelled its appearance and Sherrie convinces him to use Drew and his band, Wolfgang Von Colt, as the replacement opener. Drew then confesses his feelings for Sherrie ("More Than Words/Heaven"), while Stacee's manager, Paul Gill, schedules an interview between Stacee and Constance Sack, a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine, before the concert.

During the interview, she mentions the rumors that Stacee is difficult to work with and implies that he was actually kicked out of Arsenal, but Stacee claims that his life is much more complicated than it appears to be ("Wanted Dead or Alive"). After the interview, Constance lashes out at him, claiming that he was once a great musician but now is just immature and on the verge of becoming a washed up, has-been rocker. Stacee orders Gill, his security guards and everyone out of the dressing room so he can settle things with Constance privately. While explaining himself to her, he realizes that Constance is actually the only person who has ever truly understood him rather than adhering to an image of what people expect of him. He seduces her, and they are close to having sex ("I Want to Know What Love Is") when one of his arrogant comments convinces her that it would be a mistake and causes her to leave abruptly, leaving Stacee in a state of confusion. Sherrie then enters his dressing room bringing a bottle of Scotch that Stacee had requested she bring him from his limo outside. Still confused from his near-tryst with Constance and her leaving in a panic, he walks into Sherrie and she drops the bottle on the ground. It smashes to pieces and she apologies to him profusely.

While Drew is waiting to go on stage, he sees Sherrie leaving Stacee's dressing room and mistakes her apologies to him for having broken his Scotch bottle as an indication that they had sex (the fact that he also sees Stacee zipping his pants up, unaware that it was from his almost having seduced Constance, only convinces him of this further), causing him to perform in a rage that the audience loves ("I Wanna Rock"). He breaks up with her after his set and leaves with Gill after he offers to make Drew famous. Stacee Jaxx later takes the stage in front of an ecstatic crowd ("Pour Some Sugar on Me"). Sherrie thinks that fame changed Drew and she quits ("Harden My Heart"). She struggles to find a job while Drew learns, much to his chagrin, that he must change his rock star image into that of a boy band in order to get investors ("Here I Go Again"). Justice Charlier, the owner of a local strip venue called "The Venus Club", takes Sherrie under her wing, allowing her to work in the club as a waitress ("Shadows of the Night/Harden My Heart"). However, she is told that in order to gain respect and make more money, she must become a dancer, something Sherrie ultimately does ("Any Way You Want It"), while Drew is transformed into a frontman for a boy band ("Price of Love"). Meanwhile, Dennis and Lonny confess their repressed feelings for each other and fall in love ("Can't Fight this Feeling").

When the Rolling Stone issue that features Constance's article on Stacee Jaxx hits the newsstands, Stacee learns from it that Gill had stolen the proceeds from the show at the Bourbon Room and terminates his employment with him due to his friendship with Dennis. Gill then plans to have another concert at the Bourbon Room to introduce Drew's new band, Z Guyeezz, to earn profit from them. Knowing that Dennis will not trust him anymore, he lies that Stacee Jaxx will be the one who will be performing as his first solo gig. Dennis believes him and spreads the news in order to attract rock fans.

A depressed Drew visits the Hollywood sign, where he finds Sherrie, who reveals both that she didn't have sex with Stacee and that she is going back home. She also admits that she has been working as a stripper since quitting the Bourbon and Drew admits his new act is actually a boy band. Sherrie then relents that Drew wins the fight about who has the worst fate. Sherrie and Drew both lament the situation while Stacee realizes he has feelings for Constance ("Every Rose Has Its Thorn"). Stacee calls the Rolling Stone office in an attempt to find her, but the receptionist tells him that "she is covering Stacee Jaxx’s show at The Bourbon Room" and Stacee, unaware that he was supposed to perform that night, rushes to the venue. Meanwhile, Drew has found all of Sherrie’s stolen records at the Tower Records they first visited together. He buys them back and drops them off for her at the strip club.

That night, before the Z Guyeezz's first show at the Bourbon, Patricia and her supporters square off against Stacee's enthusiasts, led by Lonny ("We Built This City/We’re Not Gonna Take It"). When Stacee arrives, he seems to remember Patricia and greets her as "Patty." Lonny also recognizes her from a photo inside the sleeve of one of Arsenal's old records, and exposes her as a former Arsenal groupie, and a hypocrite, in front of everyone. Stacee enters the club and finds Constance, and professes his love for her. The two then rush off to the club's bathroom to finally have sex while wrecking the bathroom. He also has his security guards return the stolen money to Dennis, who uses it to pay the taxes and save the club.

The Z Guyeezz start the show, but the rocker crowd rejects their performance, and Drew, spotting Sherrie in the audience, leaves the stage. The two reconcile and Drew also dismisses Gill, proclaiming that rock 'n' roll will never die. Sherrie reunites Wolfgang Von Colt for the opening act, where Drew performs the song he wrote for her ("Don’t Stop Believin'"). Stacee hears the song and is moved by it. Eight months later, Stacee, who has rejoined Arsenal, performs the song with Drew and Sherrie, who is now part of Wolfgang Von Colt, in a concert at Dodger Stadium in front of a crowd that includes Dennis, Lonny, Justice, a pregnant Constance, and Patricia, who has returned to her rock 'n' roll persona.

Cast[edit]Edit

Main characters
Supporting characters
Cameo appearances

Musical numbers[edit]Edit

[1][2]Music used throughout the film (most notably Journey), channels the film's 80s tone.#"Paradise City" (opening credits) – Tom Cruise

  1. "Sister Christian/Just Like Paradise/Nothin' but a Good Time" – Sherrie, Drew, Lonny, Dennis
  2. "Juke Box Hero/I Love Rock 'n' Roll" – Drew, Dennis, Lonny, Sherrie
  3. "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" – Patricia
  4. "Waiting for a Girl (Boy) Like You" – Drew, Sherrie
  5. "More Than Words/Heaven" – Sherrie, Drew
  6. "Wanted Dead or Alive" – Stacee, Sherrie
  7. "I Want to Know What Love Is" – Stacee, Constance
  8. "I Wanna Rock" – Drew, Wolfgang Von Colt
  9. "Pour Some Sugar on Me" – Stacee Jaxx
  10. "Harden My Heart" – Sherrie, Jaxx, Justice
  11. "Shadows of the Night/Harden My Heart" – Justice, Sherrie
  12. "Here I Go Again" – Drew, Paul, Sherrie, Justice, Stacee Jaxx
  13. "Can't Fight This Feeling" – Lonny, Dennis
  14. "Any Way You Want It" – Justice, Record executive, Sherrie, Paul, Drew
  15. "Undercover Lover" – Drew, the "Z Guyeezz", Sherrie
  16. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" – Sherrie, Drew, Stacee Jaxx, Justice
  17. "Rock You Like a Hurricane" (extended cut) - Sherrie, Stacee Jaxx
  18. "We Built This City/We're Not Gonna Take It" – Lonny, Patricia
  19. "Don't Stop Believin'" – Sherrie, Drew, Stacee Jaxx, Dennis, Lonny, Justice, Patricia
  20. "Paradise City" (end credits) – Tom Cruise
  21. "Rock You Like a Hurricane" (end credits) – Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise

These songs appear in the film as sung by the original artists. These do not appear on the official soundtrack.

Score production and changes[edit]Edit

In bringing the musical from stage to screen, many of the songs used in the original musical were either moved around, shortened, or removed, while some new songs were added to the film.

"Cum On Feel the Noize/We're Not Gonna Take It (Reprise)", "The Final Countdown", "High Enough", "Beaver Hunt", "I Hate Myself for Loving You/Heat of the Moment", "Keep on Loving You", "Oh Sherrie", "The Search Is Over", and "Renegade" were completely cut from the film, although the version of "Cum on Feel the Noize" by Quiet Riot was used as background score and the intro to "Oh Sherrie" is heard briefly.

Similarly, many songs from the musical became mash-ups in the film or had sections of their original mash-up version removed in their film versions. "Just Like Paradise", "Nothin' but a Good Time", and "Sister Christian" all become one long mash-up instead of two individual songs ("Just Like Paradise/Nothin' but a Good Time" and "Sister Christian"). "Too Much Time on My Hands", originally mashed-up with "We Built This City", was removed, with "We're Not Gonna Take It", originally a full-length song in the musical, being mashed-up with "We Built This City" instead. "To Be with You" was removed from the mash-up that included "More Than Words" and "Heaven". The "I Wanna Rock (Reprise)" section originally mashed-up with "Any Way You Want It" was removed, with "Any Way You Want It" instead being the original full-length song.

Also, many songs from the original musical were reordered in the film, mostly to accommodate character and storyline changes. "We Built This City", in its original mash-up form, and "We're Not Gonna Take It" were originally much earlier in the musical, giving depth to Regina. They were replaced with "Hit Me with Your Best Shot", another song sung by Regina in the musical, which now served to give more background to new character Patricia (as Regina was cut from the film), with both songs (in an abridged form) instead added to the climax of the film, as part of an anthem between Lonny and the rockers and Patricia and her conservative church group. "I Wanna Rock", originally the fourth song of the musical, was moved to after "I Want to Know What Love Is" (which in itself was changed from a duet between Sherrie and Jaxx to Jaxx and new character Constance), with the song now representing Drew's anger toward what he wrongly perceives to be Sherrie's infidelity. "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and "More Than Words/Heaven" switched order in the film version, in order to accommodate the changes in the relationship storyline between Drew and Sherrie. "Can't Fight This Feeling" was also placed before "Any Way You Want It" due to the restructure of storylines.

New songs added to the film include a mash-up of "Juke Box Hero/I Love Rock 'n' Roll", which replaced the original purpose of "I Wanna Rock" in the musical, "Price of Love", which was used for Drew's short-lived boy band, and "Pour Some Sugar on Me", "Paradise City", and "Rock You Like a Hurricane" replacing "Beaver Hunt" and serving as Arsenal's discography.

Production[edit]Edit

Early development[edit]Edit

After the success of the original Off-Broadway production, the film rights were sold to Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema.[3][4]

Casting[edit]Edit

Tom Cruise played Stacee Jaxx in the film.[5] Shankman knew Cruise was in when he heard him on the first go around of his voice lesson, confirming he "actually has a fantastic voice."[6] Cruise, since, had been singing five hours a day to prepare for his work as musician Stacee Jaxx. "It's this brilliant mashup, it seems, of Axl RoseBret MichaelsKeith Richards and Jim Morrison," Shankman said of what to expect from Cruise.[7][8] All of the actors sing their own parts in the film.[9] Cruise himself told People Weekly Magazine that he had always wanted to appear in a musical but that, even so, he found the idea frightening because he was uncertain whether he could actually pull it off.[10] With Rock Of Ages, he told the interviewer, he had finally received his chance.

On February 14, 2011, it was announced that Mary J. Blige had signed on to play Justice Charlier in the film.[11] On March 3, 2011, it was confirmed that Julianne Hough (of the 2011 remake of Footloose) would play the role of Sherrie, Drew's love interest.[12] On March 6, 2011, it was confirmed that Alec Baldwin would play the role of Dennis Dupree in the film.[13] On March 24, 2011, it was announced that Paul Giamatti would be in the film, playing the manager of Stacee Jaxx.[14]

Pretty Little Liars star Diego Boneta was confirmed to play the male protagonist, Drew Boley, on April 5, 2011.[6] Not wanting an older actor to act like he is 23, Shankman thought it better to go as authentic as possible, "and Diego is absolutely that. He is [a] kid who came to Los Angeles with a dream and who sings and has an amazing voice, and drive. And he's also as honest and sweet as you can possibly make him and he's authentically the age. It creates a piece of something on screen that I don't have to fabricate."[6] Of Boneta's audition, Shankman said, "It's that feeling you get when you realized you've discovered lightning in a bottle. It reminds me of when Zac Efron auditioned for HairsprayChanning Tatum for Step Up, and Liam Hemsworth auditioned for The Last Song. When the guy walks in, the guy walks in!" Shankman also said he did not know that Boneta was a Latin music star until after he auditioned. "I have since seen him on stage and in his concerts, and he totally owns the room," Shankman said.[7] Constantine Maroulis (Drew Boley from the musical) made a cameo appearance in the film like Ricki Lake did for Hairspray.[6] On April 13, Russell Brand was confirmed to portray Lonny.[15] Both Anne Hathaway and Amy Adams declined to play a journalist who interviews Jaxx during the song "Wanted Dead or Alive" and is easily seduced by him. The two declined due to scheduling conflicts, with Hathaway filming The Dark Knight Rises and Adams filming Man of Steel.[15]Catherine Zeta-Jones joined the cast on April 20, and portrayed an original character added to the story line. The unnamed character is described as "the Villainess of the movie" who "wants to shut down rock’n roll in the great city of Los Angeles."[16] On May 1 Bryan Cranston joined the cast as the Mayor of Los Angeles, who is the husband of Catherine Zeta-Jones's character,[17] and Malin Åkerman completed the cast when she was added on May 3, 2011, taking the role initially offered to both Hathaway and Adams.[18]

Singer Porcelain Black made a cameo in the film, playing a 1980s hair metal singer. She performed one of the sole original tracks for the film, "Rock Angels".[19][20] "Rock Angels" was written and composed by Adam Anders and Desmond Child.[21] Professional wrestler Kevin Nash played Stacee's bodyguard.[22]

Principal photography[edit]Edit

Filming began at Revolution Live, a small music venue in Fort Lauderdale, FL.[23] There was also filming in a Dania Beach Boomers. On July 18, filming took place at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, Florida, for a concert scene with "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Wanted Dead or Alive".

The scenes at the iconic Hollywood Sign were filmed at the Monarch Hill Renewable Energy Park, known to locals as "Mount Trashmore", in Pompano Beach.[23]

In June 2011, a full six-block section of N.W. 14th Street at North Miami Avenue in Downtown Miami was decorated as a late 1980s version set of the HollywoodCalifornia Sunset Strip complete with the Whisky-a-Go-GoFrederick's of HollywoodTower RecordsAngelyne Billboard along with other landmarks.

Release[edit]Edit

The film is distributed by New Line Cinema under the rule of Warner Bros., and was released theatrically on June 15, 2012. The first official trailer was released on December 14, 2011,[24] attached to Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows.

Reception[edit]Edit

The film has received mixed reviews from critics; the film has a 41% critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 208 reviews; the consensus states "Its exuberant silliness is almost enough to make up for its utter inconsequentiality, but Rock of Ages is ultimately too bland and overlong to justify its trip to the big screen."[25]

However, most critics appreciated the performance by Cruise as Stacee Jaxx. For example, Rolling Stone critic Peter Travers wrote: "Rock of Ages is pretty fun despite a terrible script, bland leads and awful wigs, mainly thanks to a performance by Tom Cruise as fictional hair metal rocker Stacee Jaxx."[26]

Accolades[edit]Edit

Award Category Recipient(s) Result
ALMA Awards[27] Favorite Movie Actor Diego Boneta Won
Golden Trailer Awards[28] Best Comedy Nominated
Teen Choice Awards[29] Choice Summer Movie: Comedy/Musical Nominated
Choice Movie Breakout Julianne Hough Nominated
Choice Chemistry Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta Nominated
Grammy Awards[30] Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media Nominated

Box office[edit]Edit

On its opening weekend in theaters, the film grossed $14,437,269, ranking third place, behind the previous week's holdovers Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted and Prometheus. The film did, however, do slightly better business than the other newcomer, That's My Boy.[31]

Rock of Ages was a box office failure, grossing $38,518,613 domestically and $20,900,000 internationally for a worldwide total of $59,418,613, failing to bring back its $75 million budget. However, the film still has the seventh-highest opening ever for a musical.[32]

Home media[edit]Edit

Rock of Ages was released on DVD and Blu-ray on October 9, 2012. An extended cut is available on the Blu-ray,[33] however there is a 2-disc DVD set featuring the extended version (136 minutes); the film is thenrated R for "some sexual content", as opposed to the theatrically released PG-13.

This extended cut includes 13 additional minutes of footage, including "Rock You Like a Hurricane" edited back into the film, more risque humor from Russell Brand, and a few additional verses on "Waiting for a Girl/Boy Like You".

Soundtrack[edit]Edit

Rock of Ages: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various artists
Released June 5, 2012
Genre Film soundtrack
Length 59:24
Label WaterTower Music
Producer Adam Anders

Peer Åström Adam Shankman Matt Sullivan[34]

The cover and track listing of the soundtrack was confirmed by Entertainment Weekly on April 30, 2012. The soundtrack was released on June 5, 2012.[35] It debuted at No. 15 on Billboard 200,[36] and peaked at No. 5 on that chart in its third week.[37] It also debuted at No. 1 on the Top Soundtracks chart. It sold 267,000 copies in the US in 2012, making it the second best-selling soundtrack album of the year.[38] It has sold 320,000 copies as of May 2013.[39]

  1. "Paradise City" – Tom Cruise
  2. "Sister Christian" / "Just Like Paradise" / "Nothin' but a Good Time" – Julianne HoughDiego BonetaRussell BrandAlec Baldwin
  3. "Juke Box Hero" / "I Love Rock 'n' Roll" – Diego Boneta, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Julianne Hough
  4. "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" – Catherine Zeta-Jones
  5. "Waiting for a Girl Like You" – Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough
  6. "More Than Words" / "Heaven" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta
  7. "Wanted Dead or Alive" – Tom Cruise, Julianne Hough
  8. "I Want to Know What Love Is" – Tom Cruise, Malin Åkerman
  9. "I Wanna Rock" – Diego Boneta
  10. "Pour Some Sugar on Me" – Tom Cruise
  11. "Harden My Heart" – Julianne Hough, Mary J. Blige
  12. "Shadows of the Night" / "Harden My Heart" – Mary J. Blige, Julianne Hough
  13. "Here I Go Again" – Diego Boneta, Paul Giamatti, Julianne Hough, Mary J. Blige, Tom Cruise
  14. "Can't Fight This Feeling" – Russell Brand, Alec Baldwin
  15. "Any Way You Want It" – Mary J. Blige, Constantine Maroulis, Julianne Hough
  16. "Undercover Love" – Diego Boneta, Julianne Hough
  17. "Every Rose Has Its Thorn" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Mary J. Blige
  18. "Rock You Like a Hurricane" – Julianne Hough, Tom Cruise
  19. "We Built This City" / "We're Not Gonna Take It" – Russell Brand / Catherine Zeta-Jones
  20. "Don't Stop Believin'" – Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin, Russell Brand, Mary J. Blige

Certifications[edit]Edit

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[40] Gold 40,000^

  • sales figures based on certification alone ^shipments figures based on certification alone xunspecified figures based on certification alone

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