By Deano Peppers
Rebekah Starr is small town girl living in a lonely world who dreams super stardom, in name at least she’s already halfway there, WHOA! She’s living on a prayer! So take her hand, she’ll make it I swear. Because for her it’s “My way” My way of the highway. So don’t stop believing, hold on to that feeling, because is this love that I’m feeling? You ain’t see nothing yet, because there’s no stop sign, no speed limit and she’s on a highway to hell… and if you get all of those references, this is maybe a film you’d consider checking out.
This rock-doc starts off in a perfunctory manner, planning the map out for the story of local girl Rebekah. Bored of her little hometown in Pennsylvania she’s setting out on a cross country road trip to the bright lights of Hollywood to record a music video. Riding shotgun, best friend and one of the two tambourine players for the band Annika, the party girl from Estonia. As the engine roars & wheels start turning she checks the rear view and waves goodbye the her old life and her seemingly unsupportive husband.
It’s not long however until this joy ride through the states hits a bump in the road and they and lose their camera crew. After only a few days out they lose interest and to be honest by this point, it’s a feeling you can relate to. When the crew depart Rebekah and Annika buy some cameras to film the rest of the journey. It’s here that you truly sense this is less of a documentary, and more a elaborate holiday video.
What Rebekah looks to have a ton of, but the film lacks, is motivation. Beyond needing to film a video, there really isn’t any. Other characters come and go with no real impact to the story and Annika who is advertised as being a crazy free spirited rebel of the duo, is only there to have some fun. Its Rebekah you really need to get under the skin of, and you never feel like you get past her layers of foundation.
Particularly irritating for a music doc promoting an artists abilities, is the lack of live audio from performances. Scenes of them playing in bars will always have a studio recording dubbed over. It leaves you wondering how much of their success is based on their self promotional skills, rather than musicianship or actual talent. As the often repeated chorus of the titular song notes “I always get my way”, and this is the biggest problem facing the film. Nothing ever gets in their way. It’s no challenge for them to get across country, no adversity or difficulty, their funds don’t run out, the car doesn’t break down and their equipment isn’t stolen. Any events which could grab your attention are minor incidents overblown or quickly resolved, even the possible breakdown of Rebekahs marriage gets less time focused on it than argument over a hair cut.
Overall like the bubblegum pop rock being played repeatedly on the soundtrack, it’s a film void of any real substance. Even the tenuous talking head segments featuring semi recognizable names of rock n roll royalty Steven Adler, Rikki Rocket and porn star Ron Jeremy fail to entertain or give any real insight into life on the road.
At the end I felt bad for being negative about a film that’s so positive, but in order for me to care about the good there needs to be some bad to route against. As it stands nothing really happens, and rather than a story it’s just a sequence of events in some peoples lives, some people I don’t really care about. Unless you can stomach 90 minutes of good looking girls always getting what they want, with no serious consequences, I’d avoid it.