Get free help preparing your taxes from AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Find a location



Bob Dylan Talks!
Caucasian couple looking at a laptop computer together


Aries - Horóscopo de AARP

Look at what your future holds if your birthday is between March 21 & April 19


AARP Superstar Contest

Help pick AARP’s best singers for a chance to win $5,000.

See Official Rules

Win an ARRP Real Pad Tablet - Tribute to an Ancestor Contest

2015 LIFE@50+ MIAMI

Renew for 3 and attend Life at 50+ for free

Most Popular


Movie Review: 'Rock of Ages'

Screen version of the Broadway tribute to '80s rock 'n' roll hair bands

Of course, Tom Cruise isn’t the first Hollywood actor to take a stab at playing a rock star. Here are some of my favorites:

• Hugh Grant, Music and Lyrics (2007).  This is actually my favorite Hugh Grant movie. He plays a washed-up 1980s rock star who’s living off the royalties and residual fame from his old group, clearly modeled after George Michael’s Wham! (only Grant’s not the George Michael character — he’s the other, less successful guy). He teams up with a young songwriter (Drew Barrymore) and romantic comedy ensues. But the film’s highlights are hands-down Grant’s musical numbers, most notably the opening one, a faux-1980s music video called “Pop Goes My Heart.”

• Billy Crudup, Almost Famous (2000). Seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old Rolling Stone writer (Patrick Fugit), Crudup’s lead guitarist for an up-and-coming band is a mixture of hero and overgrown child. Best scene: Crudup standing on a roof, planning to make a dangerous jump into a swimming pool, and contemplating his last words: “I love music … and I’m on drugs!”

• Kris Kristofferson, A Star is Born (1976). Of course, he was a songwriter (“Me and Bobby McGee”) and a musical performer before he turned to acting, but Kristofferson was certainly no rock star when he took on the role of burned-out singer John Norman Howard opposite Barbra Streisand. John’s a growling, boozy mess, yet there’s not a dry eye in the house when he goes to that big bandstand in the sky. Elvis Presley was first approached to play the role — and how great would that have been?

• Bette Midler, The Rose (1979). Okay, Bette really was a rock star, and The Rose was her first movie, but we’re going to cut her some slack here because, frankly, we need a woman on the list. Known for her outrageous stage presence and whacked-out persona, Midler took everyone by surprise with her layered, exquisitely measured performance as a tragic diva modeled after Janis Joplin. Her first time out of the gate, Midler was nominated for an Oscar.

• Bill Nighy, Love Actually (2003).  In all the movies, there’s no fallen rock star more fun to be with than Nighy’s Billy Mack, a onetime hit factory who has re-recorded his greatest classic as a holiday record, substituting the word “Love” with “Christmas.” Tired, cynical and resigned to living the rest of his days as the answer to a trivia question, Billy goes on a local radio show and pleads, “Buy my festering turd of a record.”

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Movies for Grownups Radio

Download weekly podcasts of celebrity interviews, entertainment news and more. Listen

Movies for Grownups Awards

AARP honors the films and filmmakers who make the movies we want to see. Read

100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

100 Must-See Movies for Grownups

By Bill Newcott
January 2015

A treasure trove of delightfully offbeat recommendations for discerning moviegoers, from the beginnings of film right up the present.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Live Nation

Members save 25% or more when buying tickets in groups of four from Ticketmaster.

Cirque Du Soleil

Members save 15-30% on tickets to live Cirque du Soleil shows with their AARP membership card.

Pepperoni Pizza, Papa Johns Superbowl promotion for AARP members

Members save 25% off regular menu price orders at Papa John's.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! Members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.