“Rock of Ages” is adapted from a stage musical that — in the manner of “Mamma Mia” and “Jersey Boys” — uses a story as an excuse to resurrect bygone hits with emotional resonance for an aging demographic. This is generally a debased subgenre, though (as my colleague Wade Major points out) one that also includes “Singin' in the Rain.” In the current case, however, the music isn't classic Tin Pan Alley, but rather ’80s power ballads and anthems from the likes of Twisted Sister, Journey, Pat Benatar and Foreigner.
Most of the action takes place on the Sunset Strip in 1987, including a recreated Tower Records and a fictional club called the Bourbon Room. (Gosh, I wonder what real-world venue that's supposed to evoke.) No sooner does sweet wannabe singer Sherrie Christian (Julianne Hough) get off the bus from Oklahoma than she gets a waitress job at the club, thanks to boy-destined-to-be-her-true-love Drew Boley (Diego Boneta).