Sunday, May 3, 2009

When We Were Beautiful Redux

(I posted a shorter version of this review on Backstage so for some of you, this post might feel familiar. LOL)

So, at the last minute (and to get over my depression about not being at Jazz Fest), I decided to try to get a rush ticket for the final screening of Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful. I was lucky and ended up being one of the last few people to get in.

I have to say that it was great seeing it the second time around -- you really do catch so much more. Also, it was very different watching the film with very few die-hard fans. Heck ... there was only one little yelp in the scene when Jon takes off his shirt (no, it wasn't me.) I got the impression that most of the audience really didn't realize that Bon Jovi isn't just Jon Bon Jovi. So I was interested to see what their reaction to the film would be.

So sure ... they laughed at some of the same funny moments ... Jon and the "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" comment and Richie's musing about the picture of Tico on the wall of the girl's bedroom. And of course, David. But, people really listened. I heard a number of comments such as "oh I forgot I liked that song" ... and "I didn't know he was so intense."

All I can say is, people have their perceptions (and misconceptions) about this band and I really do think the film (if people are open enough to see it) really does shine a light on the reality of why Bon Jovi has remained relevant.

As for my impressions the second time around ... there are a few things that I noticed that I didn't before. For example, when Jon says "David could be in the spotlight for the first time in his life" (with his musical theatre work) I really caught a sense of the pride and happiness from Jon that I didn't hear the first time.

One thing that irked me more this time around was the footage of the stage jumper in Dublin. Yes, it gets the cheap laugh ... and the look on Jon's face when he wipes his lips with the towel afterwards is great. But, on the other hand - we all sign an agreement to act appropriately and respectful of the band when we get those pit wristbands. Its unfortunate that the film immortalizes and rewards her blatant disregard for the rules. Perhaps they will cut that out of the final version....

(As a side note, Sunnynight - I saw you this time!!! And no, she wasn't the one jumping on the stage.)

I did laugh even more at a couple of moments ... maybe because I knew they were coming ... or maybe because I actually heard them better ... not sure.

For example, when Jon is talking about playing small venues versus larger ones ... he says "I want to play the desert and sell it out ... more than once." (The man certainly has a vision of who and what he wants this band to be.) I also actually caught this time when Jon is talking about being a happy drunk and says that he is happy to sit in the corner and drink a bottle, pass out and go to bed ... "the highlight of my day." You know he's joking ... but maybe only slightly ....???

Also, how on earth did I forget the scene with Jon and Richie doing Diamond Ring during soundcheck?! What the heck planet was I on?!? Or when David said (I'm paraphrasing) if Jon were to come in one day and change things and it became a complete democracy, I'd say "okay" and then check the Prozac or whatever he was taking. (Yes, David ... I don't see the modus operandi changing anytime soon ... why fix what ain't broke.)

This time I also had the opportunity to stay til the end of the credits during which they have the continuation of the song Jon is recording in the studio at the end of the film. I noticed in the credits that the song ("When We Were Beautiful") is actually co-written with Billy Falcon (who also co-wrote "Just Older.") If you don't know Falcon's work, you should check it out. He has some great stuff.

So ... I'm not sure about the "new" song yet ... some of the opening lyrics are ...
The world is cracked.
The sky is torn.
I can't pretend that nothing's changed.

Lets just say its not an upbeat, optimistic song ... we'll have to wait for the final version ... we know how Jon likes to change things ... LOL

In any case, I hope the film is finished soon and y'all get to see it at some point.