After watching the movie The Runaways, you might find yourself wanting to “runaway” and start your own band. The movie is based on the book Neon Angel by Cherie Currie who was the lead singer for the group until she left the group. It follows the girls on their up and down journey as they try to make it as a band despite their differences, their dislike of each other at times and their verbal abusive manager, who seems to not care about them at all. All this while also being teenage girls.
The stars of the movie are Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning who are both excellent as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie. Stewart’s portrayal of Joan Jett’s is done in such a convincing way that sometimes you forget it’s her and not actual Joan. Fanning also gives an excellent performance that many thought she might not be able to pull off. The movies main focus is more on the two of them then the rest of the band who we never really get that introduced to.
The movie also does a great job of showing the kind of relationship the band and their manager Kim Fowley had. Kim, who was often referred to as sleazy and over the top is played by Michael Shannon who does a wonderful job nailing the curse-filled ranter who many felt took advantage of the girls and their finances.
Stewart and Fanning clearly worked hard at their roles to be believable rockstars and it shows throughout the movie. You see the progression of both characters from novice performers to ones that seem like they have been rocking out their whole lives.
Another important thing shown in the movie is the struggle they went through to be taken seriously. I mean, they were teenagers but most of all they were girls and at that time there wasn’t a lot of girls playing rock music. So pretty much being the first all-girl group to be playing rock music caused them to have to face a lot of disbelievers, jerk guys who would spit and throw bottles at them and dirty old guys with only crude things to yell at them. I was glad to see that the movie did touch on the abuse the girls dealt with, not just from men or their own manager and his verbal abuse but even from some of the bands they opened up. Regardless, these girls were tough and they got their much-deserved revenge when they could. There is one scene in the movie where one of the guys from the headliner band and a couple of his roadies treat the girls like dirt during sound check, so later Joan who needs to pee desperately and Sandy sneak into the bands dressing room and Joan pees all over one of their Les Paul guitars. The guy had it coming if you ask me and you can’t help but love Joan even more for doing it.
Another plus in the movie is the music. It has a great soundtrack from Suzie Quatro’s (who was a big influence for both Joan and Cherie) Wild One to Nick Gilder’s Roxy Roller. There is also hits from David Bowie, Gary Glitter, The Stooges and many more great songs. Plus we get to see how “Cherrybomb”, the song the girls are most known for came to be.
The music is good, the styles are wild and the hair is layered. The whole movie from start to finish is good! I am sure it helped that Joan Jett also had a hand in producing but Filmmaker Floria Sigismondi nailed it in my opinion. Plus, I’m serious, just one more great thing about this movie is, it does leave you with the urge to become a rockstar! Which I encourage!
Thanks for reading and if you haven’t had a chance to check out the movie The Runaways then you really should try.