America loves The Office, which I have to imagine means that a significant portion of America loves Rainn Wilson, who plays the lovably obnoxious Dwight. So I always wondered why we didn't see more Office cross-promotion for The Rocker, in which Wilson plays a washed-up drummer named Fish, who missed his shot at fame and now plays in his nephew's garage band. Was the studio ashamed of the film, for some reason? Well, I just got my copy of the DVD, and I think I know what the problem is. The movie borrows liberally from one of the greatest rock band movies of all time, one that changed the world with its mind-blowing take on the music industry and the price of fame. That's right, I'm talking about Josie and the Pussycats. With so many similarities to one of the finest rock films of all time, it's no wonder they kept this movie on the DL. Don't see it? Let me break it down for you...
Exhibit A: Josie is the story of The Pussycats, a garage band that starts out doing small shows in bowling alleys and outside coffee shops.
Exhibit B: The Rocker is the story of A.D.D., a garage band that starts out doing small shows at the senior prom. Uncanny, eh?
Exhibit A: In Josie, the Pussycats are discovered by a manipulative producer (Alan Cummings) who's not even interested in their music -- only the fact that they have the right look to become the next pop sensation.
Exhibit B: In The Rocker, A.D.D. is discovered by a manipulative producer (Jason Sudeikis) who's not even interested in their music -- only the fact that Fish's naked drumming video is a huge hit on YouTube. See what I'm talking about?
Exhibit A: In Josie, frontwoman Josie's hometown crush Alan (Gabriel Mann) follows her to New York to pursue his own musical career.
Exhibit B: In The Rocker, frontman Curtis' mom (and Fish's crush) Kim (Christina Applegate) -- who used to be in an all-girl band, mind you -- follows them on tour to keep an eye on them. Eh? Eh?
Exhibit A: In Josie, the evil producer attempts to drive a wedge between Josie and the rest of the Pussycats by brainwashing Josie and convincing her the others are jealous of her talent.
Exhibit B: In The Rocker, the evil producer attempts to drive a wedge between Fish and the rest of A.D.D. by hiring a new drummer and convincing Curtis that Fish is dating his mom. What are the odds?!
Exhibit A: In Josie, the bad guy is British.
Exhibit B: In The Rocker, the bad guys pretend they're British. Cor blimey!
Exhibit A: At the end of Josie, the band triumphs by revealing the record label's fakery and brainwashing and playing a big stadium show.
Exhibit B: At the end of The Rocker, the band triumphs by revealing a rival band's fakery and lameness and playing a big stadium show. C'mon, it's like looking in a mirror!
I hope I've made clear how The Rocker has borrowed liberally from another highly influential film, and not simply adhered to some of the same rock-band-movie tropes. Whether you believe me or not, I highly recommend that you buy it and see for yourself. Hell, buy Josie and the Pussycats, too, while you're at it. It'll be twice the rock!