Young Neil Bogart (Winslow Fegley) grew up surrounded by music under the watchful eye of his father Al (Jason Isaacs). When he grew up Neil (Jeremy Jordan) worked in the music industry in many different ways but his dream was to promote and create great 70’s, 80’s music. After working with other labels Neil at one time decided to start his own independent label, Casablanca Records, with the help of his wife (Peyton List) and group of close friends including Beth (Michelle Monaghan).
Casablanca Records launched the careers of many known singer that were not so easy to start out with , that is, until Neil figured out the formula, sex. Donna Summer (Tayla Parx), Ronald Isley (Jason Derulo) the Isley Brothers, Gladys Knight (Ledisi), Steven Tyler (George Nickolas K.), Bill Withers (Pink Sweat$), Gene Simmons (Casey Likes) of the rock group KISS and many other talents were represented under Neil’s label. Casablanca went down in history as the most lucrative independent music label ever.
Even though the idea is good, I found the story way to long. It centers on Neil Bogart mostly and the sub-stories that take place all around him but I felt like the big miss was that they should have used more music from the artists and for the most part I personally would have liked to have the actors lip sync. The singers had good voices but growing up in those times the actors did not sound like the actual artist, take Donna Summer for one! Because the writing is so long and did not help in directing the film especially since the music as the main focus would have been better than Neil Bogart as the main character. It was interesting to watch what it took to reach fame and money for the acts and the behind the scene players but overall, what was spun gold in its time has showed on the big screen as a bronze production. They Weren't Just Making Music...They Were Making History!
I am a fan of Jeremy Jordan and he does a nice job dealing with the bad hair and the direction of his character. Same with Monaghan who also proves her acting skills reached higher than what she is dealt. All of the others supporting actors work well together but as for their character development I was hoping for more. It’s a good movie for Netflix but the big screen may not be the home it was looking for!