If you love the music of The Four Seasons then you must see this
movie “Jersey Boys”, directed by Clint Eastwood.
It is a musical biography of the Four Seasons, the rise, the tough
times, personal clashes and the ultimate triumph of a group of friends
whose music became symbolic of a generation, my generation.
It takes place in 1951 in Belleville, New Jersey, with Tommy DeVito,
played by Vincent Piazzo, narrating the story, introducing himself,
his brother, and Nick Massi, played by Michael Lomenda, as the
Variety Trio. After a botched robbery, Tommy goes to jail for six
months, gets out and reunites the group, with different players
It’s now Tommy, Nick, and their friend, from the neighborhood, a
short guy with a big voice, Frank Valli, played by John Lloyd Young.
Tommy realizes that a three guy group was not sellable, they needed to
find a fourth player. In comes another street friend, Joe Pesci, yes
the actor, who grew up with these guys in Belleville and would be
responsible for introducing Bob Gaudio, played by Erich Bergen,
who would join the group and would go on to write the music and lyrics
of the songs that would shoot them to super stardom.
With a new name and their first hit “Sherry”, followed by “Big Girls
Don’t Cry”, “Walk like a Man” and “Dawn”, the rest is history.
The basis of the movie portrays the good, the bad, and the ugly of the
rise to fame and the ultimate break up of the group. With almost a
million dollars owed to a loan shark and back taxes, due to Tommy’s
mistakes and poor choices, the group breaks up and Frankie and
Bob Gaudio remains together. Frankie works for many years to pay
off that debt. The story also portrays Frankie’s marriage, divorce, and
death of his young daughter, Francine.
The movie ends in 1990, where the original Four Seasons are inducted
to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The group has not seen each other
or performed in 20 years, and for the first time would get on stage and
sing “Rag Doll” at the Hall of Fame Induction.
It was a heartfelt ending that leaves the audience spellbound. The
performances were outstanding and the music made you want to
sing along with every song, but you couldn’t, because you would be mesmerized by the performance.
This is the second time I have seen the movie and each time I have
enjoyed it even more. But then again, I saw the play three times,
perhaps I am partial.