The Rocker

  • Directors: Peter Cattaneo
  • Producers: Fox Atomic
  • Writers: Maya Forbes Wallace Wolodarsky, Story by Ryan Jaffe
  • Genres: Comedy, Music
  • Actors: Rainn Wilson, Christina Applegate, Teddy Geiger, Josh Gad, Will Arnett, Emma Stone

Robert “Fish” Fishman (Rainn Wilson) was once the drummer for Vesuvius, which went on to be a successful glam metal band without him. At the insistence of their manager and their own greed, he’s kicked out of the band and replaced by the son of the record label’s president. Fish vows never to play drums again. Twenty years later, after failing at another cubicle job, breaking up with his girlfriend, and having to move in with his sister, Fish finds himself living in the attic “looking” for work. When it looks like he’ll be a loser for life, his dorky, socially awkward nephew Matt saves the day. Matt (Josh Gad) plays the keyboards in a power pop band called A.D.D., joined by the dark, brooding Curtis (Teddy Geiger) and the no-nonsense Amelia (Emma Stone). The band is set to play the prom when their drummer gets thrown out of school for bringing “hash brownies” to the Spanish club luncheon. Running out of time, Matty suggests they give his Uncle Fish a try.

The prom turns into a disaster, being Fish’s first time on stage again, and his drum solo takes over the King and Queen’s dance in a fit of rage, sweat, and sheer embarrassment for A.D.D. Fish tries to make amends by trying to get the band a gig. Eventually, he gets them booked, but all the way in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The band decides to sneak out in Matt’s mom’s car, but are soon busted after she reports her car stolen.

Matt and Amelia convince Curtis that the band is nothing without the spirit of Fish after the label’s appointed drummer doesn’t fit in, and Curtis convinces Fish to do the gig. Upon arriving at the stadium before their performance, Fish encounters his former bandmates who have all adopted phony British accents and egocentric attitudes. To his happiness, Fish finds that he is able to let the past go and wishes Vesuvius a great show. Fish and the band play an incredible show. When they think things couldn’t get any better, Vesuvius takes the stage. And with one slip of the mic stand, the lead singer’s microphone goes crashing to the ground. This mistake causes the singer to search for the lost microphone, while the voice track is still going, exposing their fraud for lip-syncing the entire time. The audience goes wild, booing Vesuvius off the stage in a cloud of embarrassment, and chanting, “A.D.D.! A.D.D.!” Against the advice of David, whom they fire on the spot, the band take the stage again and performs for the crowd.

The Full Monty

  • Directors: Peter Cattaneo
  • Producers: Uberto Pasolini
  • Writers: Simon Beaufoy
  • Genres: Comedy, Music
  • Actors: Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, William Snape, Steve Huison, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Barber, Hugo Speer

The year is 1972, and the place is “Sheffield… the beating heart of Britain’s industrial north”, as described by the narrator in a short film visualising the city’s economic prosperity, borne out of Sheffield’s highly successful steel industry. The film shows busy steel mills, producing everything from kitchen cutlery to tensile girders, along with the run-off from the mills… successful retail establishments, nightclubs, and attractive housing. The film concludes with “thanks to steel, Sheffield really is a city on the move!”

Fast forward to a quarter century later to the same city but in a far different light than that of the early-1970s. The once-successful steel mills of then have grown brown with rust, rolling equipment has been removed, and the lines are silent. Gary “Gaz” Schofield (Robert Carlyle) and Dave Horsefall (Mark Addy), desperate to make some money, are inside their former workplace trying to get a steel beam out of the mill with the intent of selling it. They attempt to get the beam out of the mill by securing it to the roof of a car, which promptly sinks. Undaunted, they try to salvage the beam, but their attempts prove futile.

Gaz is later informed by his ex-wife that she intends to take court action against him for the child support payments that he’s failed to make since losing his job. Compromising the situation further is Gaz’s son, Nathan (William Snape), who reluctantly spends time with Gaz. He grows tired of his father’s seeming lack of motivation to do something with his life and get his act together.

With not much left to lose, and a sold-out show, the men decide to go for it for one night (including Gerald, who has got the job from the interview he thought he’d failed). Dave, having re-gained his confidence with help from his wife, joins the rest of the group literally minutes before they go on stage. The film ends with the group on stage in front of a packed house, stripping to Tom Jones’ version of You Can Leave Your Hat On (their hats being the final item removed).