When a film is called 'Janie Jones,' you're going to expect a certain frenetic energy and verve, even if the feature focuses on a father who learns he has a teenage daughter. Jones was an English singer back in the '60s and '70s known more for her sex scandals than music, until she was immortalized by The Clash on their debut album. Her name evokes a certain rawness and energy, and as a namesake, a certain adoration of music. By alluding to The Clash immediately, one would expect an 'Almost Famous' drama where whimsy and love intermingle perfectly with musical nostalgia to create a film that not only tells a story, but evokes an engaging and lyrically lingering experience.
That's not exactly what you get with David M. Rosenthal's latest film. Though it is a highly personal tale inspired by his own personal experiences, it's not a musical injection of indie strength to help it stand up to a very similar and high-buzz tale that won the top prize at Venice recently -- Sofia Coppola's 'Somewhere.'