The Rocker

George Kraychyk / Fox Atomic

Review in a Hurry: Another month, another movie about a petulant man-child who must learn maturity in order to realize his potential. This time around, it's Rainn Wilson as a washed-up drummer who was fired from a glam-metal band 20 years ago.

The Bigger Picture: Channeling both Jack Black in School of Rock and Will Ferrell in, well, pretty much any movie in which Will Ferrell's done a nude scene for laughs, Wilson tries to ditch the creepy Schrute shtick to play Apatow-like adorable.

Years after a Mötley Crüe-type band called Vesuvius kicked him to the curb in order to get a record deal and moments after losing both his day job and his girlfriend, Wilson's Robert "Fish" Fishman moves into his sister's attic. A few pratfalls later, nephew Matt (Josh Gad), whose band is scheduled to play the high school prom, begs his uncle to fill in as a last-minute drummer. Disaster ensues, but in promising to make it up to the kid, Fish accidentally makes the band famous when a video of him rehearsing naked becomes a YouTube phenomenon.

Soon, the band, which also includes sensitive-poet lead singer Curtis (Teddy Geiger) and punky irony-girl Amelia (Emma Stone) find themselves on an actual tour, dealing with the usual band-movie pitfalls of commerce versus art and friendship. Will the crazy middle-aged guy save the day while learning a few valuable life lessons of his own? It's the director of The Full Monty, y'all—naked middle-aged dudes are bound to win in the end.

It's totally predictable, but if you've ever nursed a rock-star fantasy at any age, it's impossible to hate this. And the three kids are really good.

The 180—a Second Opinion: A cynic might point out that everything funny in The Rocker was probably done previously and better in This Is Spinal Tap...and Wayne's World 2...and Almost Famous...and Josie and the Pussycats...

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