JERSEY BOYS

I’m a Jersey boy and, until the Brits invaded, the music of the Four Seasons formed the soundtrack of my teens. So this is personal.  I remember when they hit the radio with “Sherry” and “Big Girls Don’t Cry.”  Like a sock on the jaw.  No one had ever heard anything like Frankie Valli’s falsetto.  Yeah, it got old after a while, but it bolted onto the scene like a road-to-Damascus epiphany.  I knew every note of those early records, but knew nothing about the band members.  After seeing this film, I don’t know much more.  For instance: Founding member Tommy Devito was kicked out because of debts to the mob and raiding the group’s account, but where the money went, who knows?  And really, who cares?  Clint Eastwood’s direction seems perfunctory and never engaged me. Without my connection to the records, I’m sure I would have bailed.  Tactical error: playing the original “Sherry” over the closing credits.  While the singer playing Valli does a credible imitation, hearing the original only emphasizes how sui generis was Valli’s tone and phrasing.

FF=0

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