Synopsis: The story of the groundbreaking band, The Runaways.
Release Date: January 24, 2010 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Biographical, Drama
“Girl’s don’t play electric guitars”. Wanna bet? The Runaways took the music scene by storm in 1975, paving the way for female “rock” musicians for decades to come and this film does just what it should to portray their story…it rocks. Focusing primarily on two of the band’s members, Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) and Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning), it chronicles how the band came to be and the circumstances leading to its demise. This whirlwind of a trip for the band is far from glamorous and even further from idealistic. It is plagued with drugs, alcohol, sex, and ego. At the same time it is full of female empowerment without heavy off-putting tones of feminism. As musical biopics goes it fully delivers on the promise to entertain, illuminate, and make you want to blast a favorite song that gets you up on your feet dancing, screaming, or doing whatever comes to mind as the moment takes a hold. In short, I love rock-n-roll and I love “The Runaways”; you just may also.
Dakota Fanning as Cherie Currie is pure jailbait splendor. She may look like a young and naive 15-year old girl playing big girl dress up but as her character begins to grow up in the world of rock-n-roll she makes a remarkable transition. Watching her on stage, performing “Cherry Bomb” in a bustier, thigh high stockings, and small black panties calls to mind the sex kitten persona they sold Cherie as in the industry. When she opens her mouth to sing and her face takes the form of emotion the little girl disappears and we are treated to an enigmatic performance of powerful proportions. When off stage and diving deeper into her drug induced depression it is scary to see the pain and conflict in her eyes. Her alter ego, per se, in Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart) is also great to watch and analyze and learn from. You may not be familiar with Joan Jett on stage but if you are, or want to be, Stewart’s performance does her justice. The way she droops her shoulders and neck, holds the guitar, looks through you as if you are not even there, or appears to be shy and introverted before striking with such force you are left in shock. Joan Jett is a woman you may not understand with her harsher, more masculine qualities in dress and mannerisms, but she is a performer and character you cannot help but glue your eyes too as she meanders thru the rock-n-roll universe finding a home within it for the first time in her life. Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning job well done indeed.
It is 1975 – is it even possible for the soundtrack to not be absolutely amazing? There is of course music from “The Runaways” but also a great mix of what we deem now classic rock and punk.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Floria Sigismondi
- Producer(s): Floria SigismondiKristen Stewart (Joan Jett)
- Screenwriter(s): Dakota Fanning (Cherie Currie)Scout Taylor-Compton (Lita Ford)Michael Shannon (Kim Fowley)
- Cast: Richard ChewBenoit DebieEugenio Caballero
- Editor(s): Carol Beadle
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score:
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA