Big hair and quirky ladies highlight the new offerings at Utah second-run theaters this weekend.
The adaptation of the stage musical Rock of Ages -- about characters circling around a Los Angeles rock club circa 1987 -- took a licking from many critics upon its release, yet it didn't really deserve the vitriol. The knee-jerk suspicion of jukebox musicals missed some of the silly self-aware touches in Adam Shankman's version and the puffed-up performance by Tom Cruise as a metal god. Though at times bloated and overly literal in its use of its period tunes, it works for reasons beyond nostalgia.
On an entirely different note, Whit Stillman's Damsels in Distress follows a group of college women in their various romantic and personal dramas, with Greta Gerwig charming in her self-absorption as the alpha female. As usual, Stillman's characters talk a lot, but effervescently amusing as many of the episodes here may be, a lot of talk isn't always the same as having a lot to say.