Monday, September 13, 2010

Movies 113: The Runaways

I had wanted to see this film when it first came out. Unfortunately, because of the slightly controversial matter and it being on the indie side of film there was possibly one place that ran it for a weekend. So I was happy to see its on DVD now. I've always been a Joan Jett fan. Her music is the heart and soul of rock n' roll. I had never heard about Cherie Currie. And really, this is Cherie Currie's film.

The story starts out in 1975 in the wild child territory of California. The film exposes the gritty side of Hollywood. A time when Rock n' Roll was a man's world. And you have Joan Larson (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie (Dakota Fanning) definitely inspired by men in rock'n roll.

Cherie is fascinated by David Bowie. She wants to wear outfits like his. His hair. The make up. She wants to be a superstar. Of course, it runs in the family. Her mother is Tatum O'Neal who's favorite line is "Places everyone!" After their mom throws their drunk dad out, she remarries some guy and heads off to Indonesia. Who knew that later, The Runaways would make it so big overseas in places like Japan.

But in this biopic it takes someone spectacular to create a rock band. Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) is their creator. Who knows what drugs he was on when he thought it might be a cool idea to have a girl rock band. Needless to say, Shannon plays him up extraordinary in this film from lippy to slightly cross-dressing. But as he builds these girls up to take on the rock n roll lifestyle, he tries to break them, as well. That's what sells, conflict.

Fowley at work. Rock Band Bootcamp.

Joan Jett and Kristen
Really, though Cherie and Joan get along well. Maybe too well. Drugs. Sex. Friendship. Lovers. Its a whirl wind to know if it were the genuine thing or just something to do in the lust and luster of drugs while becoming a rock-star. But as luck would have it, Cherie makes a few photo shoots without re-guards of the band's feelings. So there is a bit of jealousy and what not going on. Of course, these are just teenagers on this tour to fame. We do feel the pain she is going through. She has her act down. And Fanning truly played the part of a rocker. Honestly, I really don't see the real Joan Jett in Stewart until the end of the film.

We could say Currie was almost famous. She's now a chainsaw artist and counsels trouble teenagers. If you love your rock world pumped with punks from the 70's, well, this is one you want for your personal library.


  1. This was a part of Joan Jett's life I never knew. It was a very cool film.

  2. This was really a good rock movie. The creator of the band was something, for sure.

  3. Cherry Bomb! Cool song. I talked to my Dad, he knows a lot of the Runaways songs. I'm so impressed.

  4. I'll have to check this out! It'd be interesting to see Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart working together like that.