So I watched “Rock of Ages” on the plane to London, because it’s the sort of movie I usually quite enjoy but no one else does (especially my mother with this one, as she has a passionate, bordering-on-obsessive hatred of classic rock).
I won’t go through the whole movie; it was formulaic and most of it just wasn’t worth a synopsis, but there was one aspect of it that drives me crazy the more I think about it, and that usually means blog post time.
I’ve given up on hating romantic subplots in otherwise-decent movies – if writers think we need romantic subplots, so fucking be it, I’m not going to waste any more time complaining (it’s useless, it’s stupid, it ruins good movies). The problem with this one in particular is that they picked the WRONG ONE. While there were at least two interesting, flawed, bittersweet love stories going on in the background, they expected us to give a flying potato about the cookie-cutter boy-meets-girl crap going on in the center ring.
(Had to take a break to eat, those food metaphors were making me hungry.)
On the one side, we have a washed-up, miserable rock star meeting someone who sees him for everything he is but wants him anyway (even if she’s afraid he’ll just use her); on the other side are two best friends too terrified to admit their feelings for fear of ruining their relationship – aaaaaaand then we have a couple spoiled teenagers who want to be famous and have lots of sex, and who don’t even care that much about their own relationship, much less give US any reason for concern while they wreck their own lives in predictable, non-relatable ways.
I don’t know why they thought they NEEDED the star-struck plotline – I would have much preferred to watch a movie about LITERALLY ANY OTHER PLOTLINE IN THE STORY. Even the one with Catherine Zeta-Jones that added nothing whatsoever to the actual story, other than some needless secondary conflict to distract from the real conflict. (And on that point, I have been forced to conclude every band manager is in fact an evil, greedy, greasy middle-aged guy. If that many movies agree, it must be true.)
Okay, I would draw the line at watching a movie about Mary J Blige running a strip club, but that’s about it.