All-girl teenage band "The Runaways," once regarded as a prefab joke but now lionized as trailblazers, are the subject of Floria Sigismondi's first feature. Despite the helmer's multidisciplinary background, this proves a conventionally enjoyable making-and-breaking-of-the-band saga. Apparition plans a wide release March 19, which may lead to quick theatrical playoff since, apart from Runaways fans, the pic's ideal audience -- teenage girls who will find it inspirational and cool -- won't necessarily flock to an unfamiliar 35-year-old story. But the names of Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning at the top of the cast will help, and long ancillary life is assured.
The film was exec produced by Joan Jett, with Sigismondi's script drawn from Cherie Currie's 1989 autobiography "Neon Angel," and made with cooperation from other former Runaways (save subsequent heavy-metal guitar queen Lita Ford, who, not surprisingly, isn't given much screen time or sympathy).
This is in contrast to the 2005 feature doc "Edgeplay: A Film About the Runaways," in which everyone but Jett was involved. The docu dished a lot more dirt than this narrative recap, which both sweetens the band's tumultuous history and makes it a more traditional cautionary tale about the wild side of rock 'n' roll.
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