Prey for Rock & Roll [2003]

The not-so-glam side of rock is on defiant display in Prey for Rock & Roll, another well-cast Gina Gershon flick (after Showgirls and Bound) poised for cult-favorite status. Serving as co producer and star, Gershon (looking hotter than ever at age 41) is note-for-note perfect as Jacki, the tattoo-clad, pushing-40 leader of Clam Dandys, an L.A.-based all-girl rock band that's never risen above low-paying club gigs despite Jacki's 20-year experience as a wannabe rock star. On the verge of a possible recording contract, the band is close-knit but troubled: ace bassist Tracy (Drea de Matteo, from The Sopranos) has a nasty boyfriend and a drug-and-alcohol problem, while lead guitarist Faith (Lori Petty) and her lover, the band's drummer Sally (Shelly Cole) cope with the unexpected arrival of Sally's ex-con brother Animal (Marc Blucas), an unlikely virgin who's attracted to Jacki. Based on a play by rocker Cheri Lovedog (who wrote and performed most of the band's '80-styled girl-punk music, with Gershon ably handling lead vocals), this down-and-dirty chick flick falls prey to forced melodrama and obligatory tragedy, but it looks, feels, and sounds remarkably authentic, and the cast is terrific. Easily recommended despite its faults, Prey is a feminist cautionary tale for anyone who chooses rock & roll not merely as a profession, but a lifestyle that can't be denied. --Jeff Shannon

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