Film review: Jersey Boys

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Before Beatlemania reduced grown women to whimpering wrecks, The Four Seasons were the sharp-suited musical heartthrobs of 1960s America.

The distinctive falsetto of lead singer Frankie Valli commanded attention on the radio and TV, producing three number one hits – Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry and Walk Like A Man –in the space of five months.

Undated Film Still Handout from Jersey Boys. Pictured: John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito, Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio and Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Warner Brothers. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Undated Film Still Handout from Jersey Boys. Pictured: John Lloyd Young as Frankie Valli, Vincent Piazza as Tommy DeVito, Erich Bergen as Bob Gaudio and Michael Lomenda as Nick Massi. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Warner Brothers. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

The band’s meteoric rise inspired Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice to write the 2005 stage show Jersey Boys, which subsequently won four Tony Awards including Best Musical and continues to play to packed houses in London and New York.

Like so many musicals before it, Jersey Boys struts and swaggers from the stage onto the big screen.

Pitched halfway between a traditional musical and a gritty portrait of the bonds of brotherhood in New York, Clint Eastwood’s impeccably crafted period piece entertains but never truly delights.

Like the stage show, the film is festooned with the group’s toe-tapping hits including Beggin’, Bye Bye Baby and Oh What A Night.

However, these languidly shot renditions lack the electrical charge of live performance and it’s only in the film’s closing act, and during the end credits, that there is any danger of audiences leaping out of their seats and shimmying down aisles.