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Film / Rock of Ages

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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, Poison, Joan Jett, Pat Benatar, Whitesnake, Scorpions, David Lee Roth, Guns N' Roses, Extreme, 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:

  • Above the Influence: After "Rock You Like A Hurricane", Stacee and Sherri almost hook up, but Sherri calls it off because it's not what they really want. Afterwards, they both chase after their real loves.
  • Actor Allusion: It's only fitting that Sherrie, who eventually becomes a dancer, is portrayed by someone who got her start as a dancer, albeit a different kind.
  • Adaptational Heroism: Stacee Jaxx is made into a much more sympathetic character, who doesn't engage in the constant sexual harassment of Sherrie that he does in the stage show. While the play ends with him fleeing to Uruguay to avoid a statutory rape charge, the film ends with a redemption arc that allows him to rejoin his band.
  • 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.
  • Almost Kiss: Between Drew and Sherri and Dennis and Lonnie at the end of "Juke Box Hero/I Love Rock and Roll".
  • 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 80s.
  • Ascended Extra: in the original musical, Constance was only in the "Dead or Alive" scene. She gets promoted to full Love Interest for Stacee Jaxx.
  • 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. Being a member is portrayed as more degrading than stripping.
  • Brick Joke: Early in the movie, Lonnie refers to the women protesting as Twisted Sisters. They later sing "We're not Gonna Take It."
    • Before Drew's first performance, Lonnie asks if Drew is sticking with calling his band "Wolfgang Von Colt". by the time they perform with Arsenal at the end of the film, it's apparently been shortened to just "Von Colt."
  • Bring My Brown Pants: The Z-Guyeezz have this effect on Dennis.
    Dennis:' Oh my God, I just threw up.
    Lonnie: Where?
    Dennis: In my pants. Out of my ass.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Stacee Jax might be a depressed alcoholic who hasn't written anything in two years, but the man can still put on a hell of a performance.
  • 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.
  • The Casanova: Stacee Jaxx, dear lord. He can seduce a woman in under two minutes be they a reporter who just chewed him out (Constance) or an ex-groupie fling who's despied him ever since (Patrica).
  • 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.
  • Cool Old Guy: Dennis Dupree, who owns The Bourbon Room and is implied to have been in the rock scene for decades.
  • Coolest Club Ever: The Bourbon Room.
  • 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.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Sherri's records, which got stolen, all have her name written on them. Drew sees them at the record store and buys them back for her, which convinces her to stay in LA.
    • Arsenal's live album, recorded at The Bourbon Room, is mentioned a few times. The album has a picture of Patricia Whitmore naked and about to screw Stacee Jaxx.
  • 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!"
  • Destructo-Nookie: Stacee and Constance destroy the bathroom having sex.
  • Determinator: Kevy-Z continues to dance the ridiculous Z-Guyeezzs choreography as he's being dragged off the stage.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Patricia's reaction to being left after a one-night stand with a rock star? Try to destroy the entire rock and roll industry.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Stacee is perpetually drunk to deal with the loneliness and isolation of fame.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Dennis yells at his bartender for charging women for drinks. Turns out, they were just very glam dudes.
  • The '80s: The movie takes place in 1987 Los Angeles, and set around this trope.
  • '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.
  • Exact Words: In response to Paul's plea, Stacee doesn't pour whiskey on his head. He just makes Paul wish that he had done that.
  • Excrement Statement: Stacee and Paul's whiskey scene.
  • Fourth-Date Marriage: Maybe not marriage, but fourth-date extreme commitment between Stacee and Constance, who go from hooking up to expecting a child in the time jump of "Don't Stop Believing".
  • Fully-Clothed Nudity: Constance leaving The Bourbon Room's dressing room in nothing but her bra, panties, and boots is played as this. This is justified as a) she's walking into a very public place (the main area of the club) and b) she's walking past a group of people who just heard her have sex with her interview subject, thus torching her professional reputation.
  • Get Out!: How Stacee Jaxx responds to Constance's "The Reason You Suck" Speech. Not to her, though. To his entourage, so he can seduce her.

  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Sherri and Constance are both sweet-tempered blondes.
  • Hair Metal: The Movie
  • Held Gaze: Stacee Jaxx is fond of this move. At one point, he and Constance have one while he's kissing a groupie who flung herself at him. However, it has non-seductive appearances as well. Once something grabs Stacee's attention, he doesn't look away.
  • Hire the Critic: Or date her. Stacee doesn't seriously pursue Constance until after her article, which is very critical of him, comes out. Even before, he doesn't seduce Constance after she chews him out for being a drunk coasting on past hits.
  • 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.
  • Hollywood Costuming: While the supporting characters seem to have a more 80s-appropriate look, the fashions and hairstyles on the two leads (Julianne Hough and Diego Boneta) look more out of 2012 than 1987.
  • Honest Advisor: Constance unwittingly plays this role to Stacee via her Rolling Stone feature.
  • Hypnotic Eyes: Stacee Jaxx has a human version: his unrelenting gaze combined with natural charisma results in looks that few people can look away from, let alone resist.
  • Hypocrite: The mayor and his wife are crusading to clean LA of the filth of the Sunset Strip. However, Dennis mentions the mayor used to be one of his best customers and Patricia was a Stacee Jaxx groupie ten years ago.
  • I Have This Friend: Patricia claims her college roommate had a regrettable one-night stand with Stacee Jaxx. It was actually her.
  • I Love You Because I Can't Control You: Stacee Jaxx towards Constance, Stacee Jaxx towards Constance, holy shit, Stacee Jaxx towards Constance. When they first meet, he has little interest in her . . . until she rips him a new one about his contentment to coast on his past hits and failures to produce any new music in two years. At that point, he literally won't look anywhere but at her and tosses out his entourage to seduce her. When she runs after their hook-up, Stacee tries to follow her, only stopped when he crashes into Sherri and glass breaks everywhere. When he calls Rolling Stone to track her down, Stacee explicitly describes her as "This goddess held up a mirror to Stacee Jaxx". Even the background music supports this, with their reunion soundtracked by Music/Scorpions "No One Like You".
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Implied between Stacee and Contance. Assuming the songs stand in for whatever is actually happening in a scene, then Drew and the rest of The Bourbon Room's staff hearing them sing "I Want To Know What Love Is" leans very heavily towards this trope.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Constance is a more musically oriented version of this, digging into her subjects past and present, which reveals that Paul Gill had been stealing from Stacee Jaxx, likely for some time, and using booze and girls to keep Stacee from noticing.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Stacee may be a narcissistic alcoholic, but he believes in rock and agreed to perform at The Bourbon for free to help them out of a tight spot financially. When he learns Paul took the money anyway, Stacee sends them the money and an apology.
  • 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.
  • Ladykiller in Love: Stacee Jaxx towards Constance.
  • Large 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.
  • Lonely at the Top: Implied to be a key force behind Stacee's drinking, as the only people around him are groupies, his manager who's cheating him, and his best friend Hey Man, who is an ape.
  • Making Love in All the Wrong Places: Stacee and Constance screw in The Bourbon Room's green room and bathroom.
  • Mistaken for Cheating: Sherrie bumps into Stacee Jaxx, causing Drew to think that she had sex with him. Predictably, this is not cleared up immediately and they hate each other, driving the story forward.
  • Misery Poker: Sherri and Drew
    Sherrie: I'm a stripper at the Venus Club.
    Drew: I'm in a boy band.
    Sherrie: You win.
  • 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 '50s.
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: The Bourbon Room's employees all have a standard shirt, but they're apparently allowed to alter it as they desire.
  • No Shirt, Long Jacket: Stacee's usual style of dress.
  • 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?
  • Overcome with Desire: Constance has sex with Stacee Jaxx in The Bourbon Room's dressing room after interviewing him, in spite of the terrible consequences it could have on her career.
  • 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.
  • Promoted to Love Interest: Constance, Stacee Jaxx's main love interest in the movie, was an unimportant reporter in a single scene in the musical.
  • 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 Reason You Suck" Speech: Constance gives one to Stacee about his coasting on his past glories and allowing his manager to drive his career into the ground by plying him with scotch and girls.
  • 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.
  • Sex for Solace: Sherri and Stacee come close in the deleted scene of "Rock You Like A Hurricane". They call it off after Sherri points out they're not what the other really wants.
  • 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.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Stacee Jaxx is the rare heroic version. While bombastic on-stage, off of it he rarely speaks above a quiet, icy tone. Combined with his gaze, it makes him very unsettling.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Dennis, who dies in the finale of the musical (Played for Laughs), but survives the movie.
  • The Stoic: Stacee Jaxx. Unusally for a rock star, when not performing, Stacee is ice-cold and soft-spoken, rarely showing any emotion. How much is natural and how much is a result of being perpetually drunk is up for debate.
  • 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.
  • Trade Your Passion for Glory: Implied to be part of the reason for Stacee's drinking:
    Stacee: Sex and all the projections of what your readers want me to be. What you want me to be, sex. And it keeps me from going out and getting the one thing that could save me. But I can't have that now. I'm a slave to rock and roll. I'm searching for the perfect song, perfect song that will make you want to live forever.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Constance feels like she suffers one after sleeping with Stacee, when he dismisses her immediately after sex, she has to go back into The Bourbon Room in nothing but her underwear and boots and Paul makes a snide comment about how he "can't wait to see the article." this is undone by the revelation that Stacee is genuinely infatuated with Constance; she just ran faster than he could chase.
  • 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.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: At no point does Stacee Jaxx wear a shirt.
  • Welcome to the Big City: Sherri is mugged immediately after arriving in LA.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Constance and Stacee sing "I Want To Know What Love Is". Stacee is clearly familiar with sex, but less so with emotional connection, while Constance is implied to be the inverse.
  • Woman Scorned: Patricia had a one-night stand with Stacee Jaxx ten years previously that she regrets, and is trying to ruin the Sunset Strip for revenge.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: The Z-Guyeezz is an attempt at this.