Herek's fable of life in a heavy rock group spins on a promising enough axis: what would happen if you fronted a tribute band to your favourite rock act - only to end up joining the real thing when their lead singer leaves? Beneath all the hair extensions, this is a textbook loss of innocence movie - so, given his success in similar roles, it made sense to cast Wahlberg as copier-maintenance man Chris Coles, whose devotion to Steel Dragon is so intense that even the other guys in his tribute band sack him. 'Write your own stuff!' suggests girlfriend Emily (Aniston). Does he listen? Pah! Thereafter, it's Boogie Nights with hair and added misogyny. Herek might protest at that - after all, Aniston's character is there to see through the glitz of Wahlberg's newfound stardom. She keeps her distance from the other band wives, portrayed as broken gorgons resigned to their fate as muses to mollycoddled idiots. But Herek fails to recognise that a surrogate family can still be a family, no matter how dysfunctional. As a result, every character becomes a cipher for a strangely reactionary morality tale.
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