I really liked the trailer for The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and I was excited to see this little indie film. I am a fan of Jason Ritter, and the film has a stellar actor named Peter Fonda in the cast as well. What could go wrong? How could this be a bad film? Well, I would have to say that while it is not horrible, it is not good either.
The film follows twenty-somethings Eric Genson (Jason Ritter) and Spyder (Kevin Zegers). Spyder is the vocalist in a popular band called The Lost Soulz, a goth rock and roll band. He used to be best friends with Eric and made music with him in the basement of Eric’s house. Spyder took off to LA to become a big rock star. Unfortunately, he used Eric’s songs on his first album. The second album flopped because Spyder could not write any good songs. He has returned to Eric to ask him to join the band and write new songs. Spyder is desperate and so is his manager Rose (Taryn Manning). Eric agrees, but on one condition, that they take a motor home and drive Route 66 to California as they had originally planned before Spyder took off. The motor home shows up driven by Augustus or Auggie (Peter Fonda) who used to be a friend/manager/bandmate of Eric’s dad. Eric’s dad was a pretty famous musician who had drug problems. The cross country drive begins with the other members of The Lost Soulz in tow. In two weeks, new songs are due that will make or break the band.
The story takes place mostly in 1991. The film starts out in 2011 when a music journalist (Lucas Haas) visits Spyder to get him to talk about the fabled third Lost Soulz record. Spyder is a decrepit ghost of his former self. The film occasionally goes back to 2011 to see Spyder telling the story of what happened.
I am sure the film had some sort of meaning behind it. Granted there were entertaining parts, but it is mostly about these two broken guys who had many issues with each other and themselves. I found it hard to even care about Spyder. He did not seem very grateful for anything and his back story was weak. I do not really even understand the reason why they had to screw with his left eye. Yes, his father did it to him, but why the eye? Most of the characters are on drugs, which does not make them very endearing, but a film about rock and roll I guess needs to have some drugs and sex in it. The most likeable guy in the film is Auggie. He seems to be the voice of reason and kind of a father figure during the trip.
While I think the cast worked with what they had, I have to give my praise to Kevin Zegers and Jason Ritter for hopefully learning how to sing and play instruments for the film (if they did not already know how to before). Lauren Holly shows up briefly as Eric’s mom, and Kelly Lynch has a small role as Auggie’s ex-girlfriend. Billie Dee Williams even shows up.
I have a feeling the film was supposed to be longer. There were a couple of montages that I am going to guess were scenes cut from the film and spliced together. Also, the ending is confusing and open-ended. I do not like films where you have to guess what happened in the end, and this would be one of them.
I had high hopes for The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll, but they were not fulfilled. I have a feeling the film was supposed to be appreciated on a deeper level when it comes to friendship and music. I found that hard based on my dislike of Stryder. He hit rock bottom, tried to come back up again, and then hit it again. If one of your main characters is not likable, the film is going to be a hard sell to the audience. I would recommend seeing this one on DVD if you are curious enough about the film.
I give The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll 2 “airstreams” out of 5.