Jersey Boys

Rated 4.0

It sounds like a rather improbable combination—a film based on a Broadway musical about a doo-wop group from the late 1950s/early 1960s, with Clint Eastwood directing. But this thoroughly entertaining production has plenty going for it, and those offbeat combinations add some unexpectedly intriguing dimensions to the familiar movie-musical format. The title characters are the members of the Four Seasons, the now-legendary Hall of Fame pop group from New Jersey. Naturally, that music is the driving force of Jersey Boys, yet as the title also suggests, the individual characters of the four original members are important in the overall story as well. The diminutive Valli is the one big name in the group, and he is central to everything else here as well. But the other three also get crucial moments of close-up attention in what emerges as an unusually conflicted group portrait. Eastwood’s direction is proficient throughout, and part of the movie’s pleasure derives from its success in blending the story’s disparate genres—stylized movie musical, domestic drama with Mafia connections, period piece, rock ’n’ roll romp. Cinemark 14, Feather River Cinemas and Paradise Cinema 7. Rated R