"All my life, all I ever wanted to be was a rock and roll star...I got an electric guitar [and started a band]. That was 20 years ago. Today, and god knows how many bands later, not much has changed. Not the gigs, not the clubs, and not the money. Tonight we made $13.50 each..."
The performances too clean, tame, and under-powered (I'd have tracked/filmed it all live, clams and all), and the songs commit the cardinal sins of being preachy, boring, or both.
The ladies are too pretty to sell things quite right, but many of the other details are pretty spot-on.
The hoofing of the gear.
The porch and the house. The drinking and cans of beer.
The smoking. The drugs.
The weird manager guy.
The hope and desperation and professionalism and naivete.
If you can look past the TV-movie sheen, excessive lighting, soundstage vibe, flat and clunky dialog , some awkward performances, and the ridiculous ending, this is about as good a movie as you're likely to find about being old and not making it.
Plus, Gina Gershon.
"It never occurred to me that I might make it...at what point do I become a joke? In 2 days, I'll be 40. Surprise, surprise, I ain't no rock star. I could quit and become the bitter old bitch who devoted her whole life to rock and roll and never succeeded...or I could stick with it and become the bitter old bitch who refused to give up... Either way, 'bitter' and 'rock and roll' end up together."
Not as good as the stellar and highly recommended "Still Crazy", which was about being old having made it once (all of my "peers" doing victory laps and playing their 30-year-old hits should see this).
Not as disturbing as "Hard Core Logo", either. And certainly not as intentionally funny as the Ur-film, "Spinal Tap".
But it helped pass the time.
"Do you ever think about quitting?...being 50 or 60, hauling our gear around, fighting with the bartenders and sweating the rent?"
For all its significant flaws, it was written by someone who understands/understood band life.
"It all comes down to these few minutes of playing live..."