Rocker, The

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: +1/2

Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate, Jane Lynch. Comedy. Written by Ryan Jaffe, Wallace Wolodarsky, Maya Forbes. Directed by Peter Cattaneo.

FILM SYNOPSIS: Its the world of Rock-n-Roll during the 80s. Drummer Robert Fish Fishman is living the dream, when suddenly hes fired. His fellow band members leave him high and dry and go on to becoming a super band on a par with the Rolling Stones. Twenty years later, the now embittered nine-to-fiver gets a second chance in his nephews high school band. Suddenly, hes on the road again, but this time with a teen group more into video games than rock celebrity partying.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Its funny, if you mention the name Jerry Lewis, most critics cringe. Yet, when I watch a performance such as Rainn Wilsons in The Rocker, Im reminded of just how good Mr. Lewis was at slapstick and what timing he had. This movie is about a down-and-outer becoming a rock star, which is reminiscent of Jerrys film, The Patsy, where the staff of a deceased comedian search for an unknown they can turn into a star. While its difficult for me as a reviewer to push anything Jerry Lewis did besides The Nutty Professor and a couple of his early films with Dean Martin, if you watch The Patsy, you find some very amusing moments.

Back to The Rocker. Though Rainn Wilson may be more suited to second banana roles, he is funny when he should be and touching during those few moments when hes allowed to be. The film is nicely paced and Wilsons costars each deliver suitable performances.

It lacks the substance of, say, Almost Famous or the sensibilities of That Thing You Do, or even the moxy of Jack Blacks School of Rock, but its actually funny in places. There are even a couple of positive statements about forgiving others and following your dream. At one point, Wilsons character lets go of his bitterness towards his previous band members, even wishing them well. That said, read the content. Todays comedies rely on crudity to fill up 95 minutes.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
20th Century Fox

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: There area few crude moments, mainly from the bands road manager

Obscene Language: Three or four obscenities (the s-word) and a few other minor expletives; several people display displeasure with a gesture of disapproval.

Profanity: Christina Applegates character utters Jesus name in an irreverent manner and uses the phrase Oh my God three or four times.

Violence: Several slapstick pratfalls.

Sex: Its talked about a couple of times, but this is nearly a PG rocker-on-the-road film, with the filmmaker careful not to enter R-content land.

Nudity: Ala Will Ferrell, we get a couple of scenes with our slacker hero in his underwear and sitting at his drums, baring a naked backside; this is done for humor, because theres just nothing funnier than a bared middle-aged backside Ha, ha, it is to laugh.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: A couple of rude and offensive comments are made to a mom by the bands crude manager.

Drugs: The lead is seen drinking beer on several occasions; none of the kids partake.

Other: To get the underage band members out of town for a band gig, the girl comes up with the idea of pretending to be going with a church group to a Bible camp; this is played for laughs.

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and Older

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