ROCK OF AGES
Raunch of Ages
Starring: Julianne Hough, Diego Boneta,
Tom Cruise, Alec Baldwin,
Russell Brand, Catherine
Zeta-Jones, Paul Giamatti,
Bryan Cranston, Will Forte,
Mary J. Blige
Audience: Teenagers and adults
Runtime: 123 minutes
Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures/Time
Director: Adam Shankman
Executive Producer: Samuel J. Brown, Michael
Disco, Hillary Butorac Weaver
Producer: Jennifer Gibgot, Garrett
Grant, Carl Levin, Tobey
Maguire, Scott Prisand, Adam
Shankman, Matt Weaver
Writer: Justin Theroux, Chris
Address Comments To:Jeffrey L. Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (New Line Cinema)
Jeff Robinov, President, Warner Bros. Pictures Group
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Set in 1987, the story opens with a young woman named Sherrie leaving Oklahoma with the hope of becoming a rock star in Hollywood. She and all the people on her Greyhound bus break into song as she expresses her excitement. Once in Los Angeles, she sings “Just like living in paradise, and I don’t want to go home,” even as her suitcase is stolen, she’s groped by strangers, and she has to maneuver her way through a gaggle of prostitutes.
Befriending Sherrie is Drew, who helps her get a waitress job at a famous Rock & Roll nightclub called the Bourbon Room and run by Dennis Dupree (played by Alec Baldwin). Down at City Hall, a new mayor (Bryan Cranston) is elected by “the God-fearing citizens of L.A.” by campaigning to clean up the strip. His wife Patricia (Catherine Zeta Jones) is particularly anxious to rally her Christian friends to mount a campaign to close the Bourbon Room. While she and her church ladies dance suggestively and sing “Give It Your Best Shot,” her “moral advocate” husband is in another room engaged in bondage and spanking sex with his secretary.
Meanwhile, Sherrie and Drew are falling in love and making music. The movie actually weaves a number of well-known songs into the story, often intended to get a laugh with how the music is used. The couple’s relationship is broken when rock superstar Stacee Jaxx (Tom Cruise) comes to the Bourbon Club, and Drew gets the false impression Sherrie had sexual relations with him.
Jaxx is a picture of dysfunctional living. Hounded by groupies wanting sex, and often drunk out of his mind, he’s beyond eccentric. His best friend is his pet baboon. His band wants to leave him because he’s incapable of living up to commitments. It turns out he’s the target of Patricia’s wrath because she was once a groupie he spurned. Patricia and her “twisted sisters of piety” picket his performance with signs like “Go to Hell” and “Stacee Jaxx is Filth.” Meanwhile, her husband, the mayor, engages in more adultery.
Drew is signed by Stacee Jaxx’s agent to become the next rock star. Sherrie quits her job and goes to work as a waitress and then dancer at a strip club. Drew’s agent tries to get him to change his act into a boy band when the record companies reject his bid to become a rock star.
As the Bourbon Club teeters on being closed for financial reasons, the owner comes out as a homosexual and begins a relationship with his right-hand man at the club. While not actually showing an act of sodomy, there is a kiss and some sexually suggestive positions are taken.
The separation between Drew and Sherrie makes them both miserable. Will the truth about Sherrie and Jaxx come out and the romantic young couple reunite? Will Patricia and her Christian friends be able to close the nightclub?
It’s scandalous that the MPAA would give a PG-13 rating to ROCK OF AGES. Their comment is: “Rated PG-13 for sexual content, suggestive dancing, some heavy drinking and language.” The MPAA appears to be in touch with the wishes of its owner studios, not with the interests of parents and children.
ROCK OF AGES makes it look as if Christians concerned about the impact of Rock & Roll on children are interested in seeing everyone in the industry burn in Hell. This is absolutely not the case. MOVIEGUIDE® is deeply concerned about the impact of all forms of media on children. Far from suggesting a trip to Hell, we host an awards show every year to congratulate filmmakers who make movies with better content. Our hope is that those in the industry will see the importance of making movies that encourage moral, wholesome behavior and godly virtues. We want people in the industry to go to Heaven, not Hell. The path to heaven is through Jesus Christ, who paid the price for our sin and offers both eternal life in heaven and a better, more civil, life on this earth.
Heavily loaded with sex and alcohol, ROCK OF AGES certainly doesn’t promote any wholesome behavior. In fact, it attacks it. Also, it certainly doesn’t make the lifestyle surrounding rock and roll look heavenly. For example, the rock superstar, Stacee Jaxx, looks as happy as a prison inmate, his greedy agent looks miserable, the rock groupies look hopelessly stupid, the pole dancers look like slaves forced to serve men enslaved by lust, and the two wannabe rock stars look like minnows anxious to be devoured. In the end, however, they all look happy at a Stacee Jaxx concert where a “repentant” Patricia shows up in a very suggestive outfit ready to rock and roll. Once again, Christians are depicted as hypocritical, venal people.
ROCK OF AGES is a thoroughly despicable, evil movie, but MOVIEGUIDE® wishes that all the people involved turn away from their sins, accept Jesus as their personal savior, and go to Heaven, not Hell. We encourage them to get to know God and his will for their lives and for the movie industry.
Although rated PG-13, ROCK OF AGES deserves an R rating for its lewd content, very suggestive dancing, scanty clothes, heavy drinking, homosexuality, and depressing immorality. The movie makes Christians look like sex-crazed hypocrites out to send rock lovers to Hell. At the same time, it makes the whole rock music scene look about as desirable as a prison sentence. Sunset Strip looks like an epicenter of lust, greed, dishonesty, and addiction. Yet, it’s portrayed as more righteous than the Christian world of its opponents. ROCK OF AGES is abhorrent, politically correct propaganda.