Last chance – give now. Before 2014 ends, help struggling seniors. Donate



Caucasian couple looking at a laptop computer together


Scorpio - AARP Horoscope

Look at what your future holds if your birthday is between Nov. 23 & Dec. 22.

2015 LIFE@50+ MIAMI

Miami skyline viewed through palm trees.

Enjoy fun in the sun during Life@50+, May 14-16, 2015

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


Discounts & Benefits

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

Cirque Du Soleil

Members save up to 20% on live Cirque du Soleil shows with their AARP membership card.

Member Benefit AARP Regal 2

Members pay $8 for Regal ePremiere tickets purchased online. Conditions apply.

Movies Unlimited

Members save 10% on purchases of DVDs & Blu-ray discs from Movies Unlimited.

Member Benefits

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