Despite popular disregard for this Paul Schrader blend of family melodrama and rock & roll, some of us here at the Chronicle truly love this movie. Its heart and compassion for its characters show Schrader at his mellowest, although a bit in the deep end when it comes to dramatizing the psychodynamics of riot grrls and their kin. Joan Jett makes up for any lapses with her soulful performance and cut-to-the-quick gaze. With his expert timing, Fox makes an excellent foil as Jett’s brother and fellow member of a Cleveland rock band on the verge of success ñ if they don’t fail. Rowland’s onboard for an excessively stormy and sob-inducing turn in a subplot. But when the focus stays on the story of a rock & roll girl who burns with her passions for her young son and her music, her family and her own light, the movie sings out like a rock & roll anthem.
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