"This isn't about women's lib. It's about women's libido"
A 2011 Coming of Age Story
about the first all-female rock band The Runaways
. In the middle of the 1970s, Joan Jett is sick and tired of the gender divide in rock music and decides to form an all-girl rock band. Record producer Kim Fowley sees potential and assembles a line-up of aspiring female rock musicians. The only thing that's missing is a singer...which all changes when Fowley spots 15-year-old Cherie Currie in a night club. The Runaways are formed and it's a tale of fame, fortune, drug abuse, cattiness and lesbianism.
The film was primarily based on Cherie Currie's autobiography and so primarily focuses on the relationship between Cherie and Joan and events leading up to Cherie's departure from the band. It starred Dakota Fanning
as Cherie and Kristen Stewart
as Joan. It received positive reviews from critics but didn't do so well at the box office, likely from marketers not being sure whether to target the film at fans of the band from back in the day or young fans of Fanning and Stewart.
Provides examples of:
- The Alcoholic: Cherie's father. It runs in the family.
- All Women Are Lustful: Kim wishes to portray the band this way.
- Bi the Way: Joan, while Cherie is more Ambiguously Bi.
- Bitch Alert: Lita Ford's introduction is her coldly telling Cherie they can't play the song she practised.
- Coitus Uninterruptus: Joan calls Kim while he's in the middle of having sex. Not only does he not stop, he manages to have a proper conversation with Joan.
- Coming of Age Story
- Composite Character: The character Robin is a combination of the different bass players the band had over the years.
- Corrupt the Cutie: Cherie's descent into drug addiction. Though she's hardly completely innocent when the film starts.
- Dawson Casting: Averted. 15 year old Cherie was played by the then 16 year old Dakota Fanning, and Downplayed with Joan Jett, who was 17, played by the 19/20 year old Kristen Stewart. Additionally the movie takes place over a two year timespan, matching Stewart's age with Joan's by the end.
- Demoted to Extra: Sandy West gets a sizeable character introduction but then does hardly anything else in the entire film. This was enforced with Lita Ford, who refused to sign over her life story rights to the filmmakers.
- Do Not Call Me Paul: A last name rather than a first, Joan insists that her music teacher call her Joan Jett.
- Dyeing for Your Art: Dakota Fanning cut her hair onscreen. Kristen Stewart also dyed and cut her hair into Joan's signature style - as well as learning how to play guitar. Scout Taylor Compton also got personal coaching from Lita Ford.
- Establishing Character Moment: Joan is introduced in a clothing store being told to look in the women's section but then dumping all her change on the counter for a man's leather jacket.
- Evil Mentor: Well, perhaps not entirely evil, but Kim is a colossal dick.
- Fanservice: Played with. Despite appearing in her signature lingerie on stage, Cherie's look is called out on by Joan Jett and is presented as uncomfortable given her young age. However, it still gets a lot of camera focus and jiggle.
- Five-Man Band: Excluding Robin who doesn't have any character at all...
- The Generic Guy: Robin who gets no lines and hardly any actual focus, likely due to being a Composite Character.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Cherie, though the opening scene of the film does suggest she isn't as innocent as she appears.
- Hard-Drinking Party Girl: Duh, it's a movie about female rockers.
- Important Haircut: Cherie cutting her hair into her signature style just before a school talent show. Also serves as an Establishing Character Moment.
- Informed Attribute: Much fuss is made of Cherie's resemblance to Brigitte Bardot but Dakota Fanning doesn't quite fit the profile.
- Jail Bait: Cherie Currie was marketed as such, being only fifteen when the band was formed.
- Lady Drunk: Cherie in a sad scene towards the end.
- The Lad Ette: Joan - a lover of rock music and leather jackets. Additionally there's a scene where she pees on another band's instruments because they were rude to The Runaways.
- Lolicon: Cherie's fans.
- Ms. Fanservice: Enforced by Kim. Possible deconstruction too as the rest of the band are furious with Cherie for not publicising their music rather than her looks - added Squick for Cherie only being a teenager at the time.
- No Periods, Period: Averted in literally the first ten seconds of the film.
- Parental Abandonment: Cherie's mother moves away to Hong Kong and sends her daughters to live with their grandmother.
- Produce Pelting: Part of Kim's preparation of the Runaways include ordering lackeys to throw things as the band rehearses.
- Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Joan and Cherie. The latter's relationship with her sister Marie is also quite close too.
- Satellite Character: The rest of the band and character are portrayed in how they revolve around Cherie, Joan and Kim.
- Shown Their Work: The performance of "Cherry Bomb" in Japan was recreated almost completely spot on down to the costumes, choreography and lighting.
- Small Name, Big Ego: Cherie in the scene at the supermarket though it likely comes from being very drunk.
- Theme Twin Naming: Sisters Cherie and Marie Currie.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: Tomboys Joan and Lita, and Girly Girls Cherie and Sandy.
- Training Montage: Of the girls preparing for their first gig.
- "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: A variation. The film skips ahead years later to when Joan Jett has just released "I Love Rock And Roll" and shows Cherie working in a store. The end credits also tell us what happened since then.
- X Meets Y: Cherie is described by Kim as "Bowie meets Bardot".