Clint Eastwood tackles Frankie Valli in ‘Jersey Boys’

Just Too Good to Be True

Jason Fraley | November 15, 2014 10:04 am

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WASHINGTON — The Broadway version won the Tony for Best Musical in 2006, telling the true story of how Frankie Valli, Tommy DeVito, Bob Gaudio and Nick Massi formed the Hall of Fame rock group The Four Seasons.

The band famously burst on the scene with three straight No. 1 hits — “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like a Man” — all featuring Valli’s signature falsetto. The group tallied numerous other hits over the years, including “December 1963 (Oh, What a Night),” “Ragdoll” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You.”

With such powerful music, recently rejuvenated with the smash hit stage production, the anticipation is understandably high for the movie version.

The hype is further boosted by the involvement of a pair of Oscar winners.

Screenwriter Marshall Brickman most famously shined by co-writing Woody Allen’s brilliant scripts for “Annie Hall” (1977) and “Manhattan” (1979).

More importantly, director Clint Eastwood has made some of the best movies of our time, directing two Best Picture winners in “Unforgiven” (1992) and “Million Dollar Baby” (2004), and another that should have won in “Mystic River” (2003).

As you might expect, Eastwood’s genius bubbles to the surface occasionally in “Jersey Boys,” as the blown-out bulbs of a “Four Seasons” sign form the phrase “Our Sons” in the remaining letters.

There’s also the brief juicy trivia that Joe Pesci helped launch the band, a fun factoid that was also explored in the Broadway play.

But how does “Jersey Boys” fare as a whole?

Hear my audio review to the right.

Also, check out my Top 40 Movie Musicals of All Time.

Does your favorite make the list?

Follow WTOP Film Critic Jason Fraley on Twitter @JFrayWTOP, read his blog The Film Spectrum, listen Friday mornings on 103.5 FM and see a full list of his stories on our “Fraley on Film” page.

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