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DVD review: The Runaways

Recently released film “The Runaways” stars Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart as female youth rock stars. The Runaways was an all women rock band that was signed in the late seventies. With all five ladies  around the age of fifteen, this movie is a depiction of the life of a musician and all the perks and downfalls involved on the short road to becoming a world famous idol. Fanning stars as Cherie, the lead singer of the Runaways, and Stewart as Joan Jett, lead guitarist and founder of the Runaways.

When watching this film, I was really uncertain of what to expect. I wasn’t the biggest fan of Stewart; her most recent role in the Twilight saga was a serious disappointment to me. I was shocked to see how much Dakota Fanning has “grown up.” Her role in this movie was the farthest thing from childish. Playing a fifteen year old drug addict and nymphomaniac, I could imagine Fanning was stepping out of her comfort zone and onto hot coals. Her performance was more than convincing.

Stewart had always seemed dull and lackluster to me, and to all the Twilight fans, I’m sure you’ll agree she is not Bella worthy. But her role in this movie suited her perfectly. A rough around the edges chick who was looking for something more than the boy’s world rock and roll, Stewart nailed Joan Jett’s persona. Stewart seemed to fall into her character and connect with the role she was playing. I was impressed with her performance. After the film, I was itching to die my hair black and spray paint my own Sex Pistols tee shirts to wear with my leathers.

After Cherie falls victim to the obstacles of stardom, the band crumbles under the pressure of a jerk off signer/manager and the burden of fame. Cherie moves back in with her sister after leaving for months on tour. Shortly after she is submitted to a rehabilitation center, where she eventually overcomes the need for the habits she created. Joan Jett erodes after switching back to a lifestyle too typical for the musician in her. She ends up getting back into business as “John Jett and the Black Hearts.”

The movie almost seems to follow the line of a documentary, but most musician/band based films do. I would not recommend this film to those who cannot handle or do not prefer vulgar and excessive language, drug use, and sex. There is no sugarcoating and nothing, I mean nothing, is left out.

Inspiring and motivating, The Runaways is very much a girl power, pick-up-an-electric-and-learn-to-jam type of film. For movie and music lovers alike, but not for the faint of heart. “Hello Dad. Hello, Mom. I’m your ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb.”

By Kaitlynn Mockett, Newton Photo Editor

See “The Runaways” trailer here.

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