August 13, 2002
Mark Wahlberg. Jennifer Aniston.
The Story Of A Wannabe Who Got To Be.
Pretty fun to watch if you’ve ever dreamt of being pulled out of the crowd to sing along with Bruce or play along with U2. The story is extremely thin. Pittsburgh guy gets picked, falls for the party lifestyle, loses girl, tries to build life back. The same story is done every week in 44 minutes on VH1. Wahlberg and Aniston are cute together. They both know every possible fact about the band they love, Steel Dragon. This is pretty much the story of the guy who used to sing in a Judas Priest cover band and then when Rob Halford left, he was hired. I saw a film called TRIBUTE which was all about tribute bands. This Judas Priest story is recollected by a guy who now performs as Rob Halford in his own tribute band. To hear him tell the story, the guy sang the first line of a single song and was hired on the spot. I don’t know which song it was, but it required some sort of loud, high, sustained note. The singer telling the story seemed bitter that he wasn’t given the chance to try out. Anyway, in this film, Wahlberg is flown to L.A. to a home studio to sing along with a track and is offered the gig that day.
I found it particularly funny when someone asks Wahlberg if Steel Dragon played a particular song. He answers that they haven’t played it since Tokyo 1978. My friend Matt can tell you the setlist of any U2 show since 1981. Wahlberg and Aniston also ridicule another tribute singer for having the wrong color lapel on his dragon jacket and are mortified by the other singer’s mixture of different tour costumes.
This film is extremely light, and it was fun to watch. Wahlberg did a good job of lip syncing and Aniston just had to look like a hot, smart, rock fan. At the end, Wahlberg does a fantastic Eddie V. impression. Authenticity is added by Steel Dragon being played by Ozzy’s former guitarist, Dio’s former bassist, and son-of-the-best-drummer-in-history, Jason Bonham.