Monday, April 5th, 2010
"The Runaways" is gloriously stupid and should have a different title: "Cherie Currie: A Story that Has Something to Do with the Band the Runaways but Is in No Way a Biopic of Them," or something like that. You can't market a movie that is mostly about the singer (Currie) as a biopic of a band, especially when the bassist doesn't have any lines. But while I'm annoyed with the way the movie is marketed and refuse to accept it as a portrayal of the band, there were many scenes in this movie where I found myself caring about these characters.
"The Runaways" is based on Currie's book *Neon Angel: The Cherie Currie Story*, which explains why the movie focuses on her. But when I'm lead to believe that the movie will be about a band, I want to see historically accurate details about that band.
Formed in 1975, the Runaways had several bassists during their run (Micki Steele, Jackie Fox, Vicki Blue, and at one point Joan Jett), but instead of explaining that necessary detail in the movie, it's ignored. Whether or not there were legal issues, the bassist should have lines, even if she's fictional, especially since she's played by Alia Shawkat.
Currie, played by Dakota Fanning, was supposed to be the sexual element of the band, but Fanning isn't. Maybe it's that Fanning has been in so many movies as a child that I just can't accept her as a sexual being. Or maybe, because we get so much more of Currie's story, I'm unable to accept this awful person as sexy.
And maybe the reason I'm able to accept Kristin Stewart as Joan Jett is because I loved any scene that gave us something that wasn't about Currie. We don't really get much of a background story for Joan (because all of the background is about Currie's family; her sister gets more time in the film than some members of the band), but Stewart has the right dominating attitude, which almost makes up for her inability to sing anything like Jett.
But take the title with a large grain of salt, and just enjoy the sort-of story of the band's creation and destruction.
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