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Jersey Boys: Okay for the music, but not a strong plot.

Jersey BoysJersey Boys will appeal to those who have a fondness for the music of the late 50s and early 60s, but if you’re looking for a story with a strong conflict  and character development, this isn’t your film. A lot of the plot is a device to let the singers do a song, but – hey- aren’t all musicals? The plot is mostly a mish-mash of personal conflicts and squabbles between the band members over who gets credit for what, and over the financial troubles that Tommy DeVito caused for the group.  The film covers the group from the late fifties to around 1970, with no attempt to ‘age’ the actors’ physical appearance during that era. The passing years are suggested by changes to clothing styles and haircuts. The acting is competent, but the director uses four characters all speaking directly to the camera at different times during the film. This is a hard technique to pull off in a film even for one character, and I found it constantly took me out of being absorbed in the story. In my view, the use of four characters speaking straight to the audience is one of the film’s biggest weaknesses. Personally, I don’t like the falsetto voice registry that almost all Frankie Valli’s songs were done in, but that’s just me. If you’re after a light-hearted bit of musical entrainment to kill a couple of hours, this might be a reasonable choice. I’d give it 3 out of 5.

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