“Prey for Rock and Roll” spins out of control

Prey For Rock and Roll_Gershon

By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun-Times
October 24, 2003

3 stars

There are some musicians who claim fame doesn’t interest them. Jacki, the central character in “Prey for Rock and Roll,” isn’t one of them. She wants to be rich, famous and adored.

She wants to be a rock star.

But when you’re pushing 40 with a wheelbarrow, and your band has to divvy up the $54 gig fee four ways, stardom is a pipe dream.

“At what point do you give up pursuing your life’s dreams, if it is who you are?” she asks. “When is enough enough? … I’m an old woman chasing a teenager’s dream.”

For every Britney Spears who becomes a multimillionaire pop star before she celebrates her 17th birthday, there are thousands of musicians who will never crack the record charts, much less make enough to pay the rent. What keeps them going is a passion for music that encompasses their soul. They don’t just want to create music. They have to do it.

The leader of the punk rock band Clam Daddy, Jacki (Gina Gershon) is an adequate singer trying to unleash her inner Chrissie Hynde. What she lacks in raw talent, she makes up for with gritty determination. She works days as a tattoo artist to support her music habit.

Her lead guitarist Faith (the formidable Lori Petty) gives music lessons to untalented teens. Their bassist Tracy is a messed-up trust fund baby whose love of music is equaled only by her desire to piss off her conservative parents. And Sally (Shelly Cole) — Faith’s young lover — is an optimistic drummer whose past comes back to haunt her when her brother is released from prison.

There are times when the movie tries to accomplish too much. When the women interact in the world of rock ‘n’ roll, they exude a reality that awes and startles the audience. But when the filmmakers throw in rape, revenge and redemption, the movie takes on a underlying theme that doesn’t belong in this film.

Still, the performances are outstanding. Gershon, who sings all the songs herself, is no Shirley Manson or Chrissie Hynde. But she’s not bad.

With her frosted, feathered hair and tacky/sexy rock garb, she looks the part she so desperately wants to become.

When Jacki laments about missing the whole riot grrrl movement by a minute, Faith jokes, “You did pioneer that whole riot mom thing …”

“Prey for Rock and Roll” isn’t a perfect film. But like a good rock song, it stays with you days after you’ve seen it.


No Comments

Join the Discussion

Psssst! Your E-mail address will not be published.

Name *

E-mail *