Clint Eastwood might seem like a strange choice to direct the movie version of a hit jukebox musical, but at least the Broadway source material isn’t totally out of his wheelhouse. After all, the actor-turned-director is only a few years older than real-life crooner Frank Valli, the main character of Jersey Boys; both he and Eastwood got into showbiz in the ’50s and became stars in the ’60s. Clint, in other words, had his own memories to draw on when dramatizing the rise and fall of the Four Seasons, the group Valli once fronted.
A quick glimpse at the first trailer for Jersey Boys (opening June 20) reveals that Eastwood has preserved the Rashomon-like structure of the play, in which members of the band break the fourth wall to offer conflicting versions of how the Four Seasons came together, became stars, and then disbanded. It’s also clear that Eastwood has found a way to apply his signature muted color palette to the material, because the past is older—and hence grayer—than the present, right? Good or bad, Jersey Boys is sure to appeal to at least one demographic: your parents. And dragging them to the nearest multiplex will be a lot cheaper than springing for orchestra seats at the local performing arts center.