'Jersey Boys' has just about every showbiz cliché

In 'Jersey Boys,' the one bright spot is Christopher Walken playing a Mafia don.

Warner Bros./AP
John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli in the movie version of the musical "Jersey Boys."

The hit musical “Jersey Boys,” now approaching its 10th year on Broadway, would seem to be a movie natural, but you might be better off listening to a CD of The Four Seasons instead. This movie about the up-and-down fortunes of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, directed by Clint Eastwood from a script by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice based on their original show book, hauls out just about every showbiz cliché in the catalog.

The actors, starting with 38-year-old John Lloyd Young as Valli (reprising his Tony Award-winning performance from a decade before), all look way older, especially in the earlier scenes, than their characters. The sole bright spot is Christopher Walken playing a benevolent Mafia don. Grade: C+ (Rated R for language throughout.)   

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 'Jersey Boys' has just about every showbiz cliché
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today