Rock Of Ages
is a 2012 musical movie adaptation of the 2006 Chris D'Arienzo Broadway musical of the same name.
It features the acting talents of Tom Cruise
, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta, Russell Brand
, Alec Baldwin, Mary J. Blige
, amongst many others, and its soundtrack includes the music of Jon Bon Jovi
, Def Leppard
, Foreigner, Journey
, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Whitesnake
, Scorpions, David Lee Roth, Guns N' Roses
, Quiet Riot
, Skid Row
, Starship, Quarterflash, Night Ranger, Twisted Sister
, Warrant, REO Speedwagon, it goes on and on and on and on.
The film differs from the original musical in that the main antagonists, a greedy developer and his son hoping to develop the area where the Bourbon Room is located, are replaced by a mayor and his wife campaigning against rock music as part of their attempt to clean up the town as well as for petty personal reasons. The character of Stacee Jaxx is a more sympathetic character in the film and Sherrie and Drew get a happier ending.
This film provides examples of:
- Adapted Out: The musical's Big Bad Hertz Klinemann is replaced by Patricia while Franz and Regina's characters and subplot is completely cut out.
- The Alcoholic: Stacee Jaxx spends most of his scenes staggering about in a drunken stupor with a bottle of scotch in his hand. Implied to be a case of drowning his sorrows. Constance calls him on his behavior during her interview.
- Anachronism Stew : The film is supposed to be set in 1987, although some of the songs ("I Remember You," "More Than Words," etc.) were released later. The hairstyles (due to the lack of perms and layering) appear to be from a little later, and the fashions in the strip club date earlier (the Xanadu look from 1982 or so). It's a nostalgia piece about The Eighties.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Or maybe Department of Redundancy Department?
: "This man spews out three things: sex...hateful music...and...(Beat
- Ascended Extra: in the original musical, Constance was only in the "Dead or Alive" scene.
- Babies Ever After: At the end of the film Stacee and Constance are a couple and Constance is pregnant.
- Boy Band: Parodied. Also, the Z-Guyeezz must be one of the first.
- Brick Joke: Early in the movie, Lonny refers to the women protesting as Twisted Sisters. They later sing "We're not Gonna Take It."
- Bring My Brown Pants: The Z-Guyeezz have this effect on Dennis.
Dennis:' Oh my God, I just threw up.
Dennis: In my pants. Out of my ass.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Subverted, as Stacee does remember the time he treated Patricia poorly, and he seems at least a little regretful about it.
- California Doubling: Inverted. This is a case of someplace else doubling as California, as Hollywood even, namely Miami. Even the famous Hollywood sign was rebuilt on a landfill.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Stacee Jaxx acts this way. His best friend is a monkey and when he first arrives at the Bourbon Room both Dennis and the audience are left unsure whether he intends to burn the place to the ground metaphorically with his music or literally burn it to the ground in order to release some mythical fire phoenix. Could also count as truth in television, as wealthy, famous, booze addled rock stars often tend to lose touch with reality. Constance even points this out to Stacee, accusing his manager of giving him girls and drugs to keep him controllable. She also blames the drugs on why his career's gone stale. Considering that the manager can barely control him, this plan doesn't seem to be working out.
- The Cover Changes The Meaning: The most notable being the song "Any Way You Want It," which is about strippers doing anything the client wants. Also, several songs are used differently and/or at different times in the movie than they were in the musical ("We Built This City" and "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" are at almost totally opposite ends of their positions in the musical), leading to some fun surprises for people who thought they knew what to expect or when to expect it.
- Deadpan Snarker: Paul Gill stands out as one.
- Department of Redundancy Department: Patricia tries and hilariously fails to invoke the Rule of Three while describing Stacee.
"This man spews out three things: sex, hateful music...and...sex!"
- '80s Hair: The Movie.
- Ethical Slut: More like Ethical Strip Club Owner—Justice lets Sherrie just be a waitress and only nudges her into being a dancer by pointing out that it's the higher-ranked job in the club. Sherrie makes the decision herself because the strippers/dancers make a lot more money than her. Justice even tries to talk Sherrie out of working at her club at first. She knows it's not exactly a good job.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Hey Man.
- Excrement Statement: Stacee and Paul's whiskey scene.
- Hair Metal
- Hollywood California: The movie is mostly restricted to two greater locations, namely Sunset Boulevard and the Hollywood sign. Not that it was actually made there (see California Doubling), and not that the Hollywood sign and its immediate surroundings look anything like the real deal. It's kind of Hollywood Hollywood because Hollywood fails at portraying itself realistically.
- Humiliation Conga: while not in public, Stacee's manager Paul Gill. See Crowning Moment of Awesome for how Stacee gets back at him.
- It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: The double-Es in "Z-Guyeezz" are pronounced. Paul Gill will correct you if you don't.
- Jukebox Musical: This film in a nutshell.
- Karma Houdini:
- Mayor Whitmore carries on an extramarital affair (at one point in a church!) and never gets caught, much less punished.
- On the other hand, he was very noticeably distraught when it is revealed on live television that his wife had formerly made out with Stacee Jaxx at a concert, so if anything, they're even in that regard, but it still doesn't change the fact that he's a major hypocrite who is never exposed for it, unlike Patricia.
- Very much not Paul. Formerly high rock stars give fun revenge.
- Large Ham: Patricia Whitmore and Stacee Jaxx. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Tom Cruise definitely had a blast playing their respective characters.
- Paul Giamatti, Alec Baldwin, and Russell Brand are all pretty over the top, making this film a World of Ham.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared to the original Broadway musical, which ends with Stacee Jaxx being charged with statutory rape and fleeing the country whilst Sherrie and Drew give up on their dreams of fortune and fame to live ordinary lives. The film has a more cheerful and optimistic ending.
- Missing Trailer Scene: Depending which trailer you watch, there is quite a prominent scene of a blonde fan running into Stacee Jaxx's backstage dressing room, ripping her top open and declaring how much she loves him as he autographs her cleavage whilst the Rolling Stone reporter who is trying to interview him watches in shocked silence. Needless to say this scene never happens in the film, but it appears on the extended cut of the film.
- My Nayme Is: Stacee Jaxx.
- Myspeld Boyyband: Z-Guyeezz. Double the E, double the Z, double the flava! Also, Stacee Jaxx of Arsenal. Then again, both have the same producer.
- The New Rock & Roll: Indeed, this film's basic premise could have just as easily been set in The Fifties.
- Noodle Incident: According to Lonnie, Stacee once cut out of doing the halftime show at the Super Bowl in order to attend a Satanic ritual to sew up Debbie Harry's vagina — which even the Satanists wouldn't do.
Lonnie: Why would Satan be involved in closing vaginas?
- Panty Shot: Patricia has at least one during "Hit Me with Your Best Shot" which clearly didn't come accidentally (her panties match the rest of her outfit); another one is prevented by a conveniently placed lamp in the foreground.
- The Power of Rock: Drew and Sherrie with "Don't Stop Believin'" at the end of the film. It gets them a place on Arsenal's new tour and Stacee Jaxx himself sings it, having been re-inspired by their music and his romance with Constance.
- Queer People Are Funny: Dennis and Lonnie have a love song late in the movie. It's played completely for laughs, and it's never mentioned again.
- The Rock Star: Sherrie and Drew both have hopes of using their singing talents to find fortune and fame in the rock music industry whilst Stacee Jaxx is already its biggest star.
- Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll: Stacee Jaxx, and his greedy manager who keeps him constantly on tour and in a booze-addled state to make money off him, definitely represent the darker side of rock and roll.
- Sexophone: In a brief fantasy when Drew and Sherrie are at the Hollywood sign. Also, a very suggestive and subtle guitar twanging in the background in most of Stacee's scenes.
- Shout-Out: So Stacee refers to Constance as Cinderella? Like, you know, that hair metal band?
- Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Trailer: Bryan Cranston as The Mayor is absent from trailers and Diego Boneta as the male lead Drew is often Out of Focus.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Dennis, who dies in the finale of the musical (Played for Laughs), but survives the movie.
- Television Geography: The Hollywood sign in Rock of Ages, actually installed in Miami, has a viewing platform behind it. The one in Hollywood doesn't; it's located on a hillside that's too steep for most to climb.
- Those Two Guys: Lonny Barnett and Dennis Dupree.
- Villainy-Free Villain:
- The mayor and his wife never actually do anything illegal or underhanded in their crusade against rock music and their goal is not that unreasonable (they want to shut down a badly-run nightclub in order to clean up a sleazy neighborhood and let a financial backer take it over) but they're both such blatant hypocrites that it's very hard to sympathize with them.
- Averted with Paul, Stacee's manager, when we find out Stacee really was doing the Bourbon Room gig pro bono and Paul took their money anyway.