Tipper's real-life bête noire was Prince, formerly known as a glyph, and his great album "Purple Rain." (And you wonder why the Supreme Court felt called upon to step in and protect the voters from their mistaken inclination to elect her husband Al as president?) But that Prince would be too hip, not to mention too musical, for the marketers behind "Rock of Ages."
Fortunately for them, 1987 was also the year that the paler Guns N' Roses, conveniently based in L.A., released their first album. So instead of struggling with multi-layered musicianship, "Rocks of Ages" only asks your semi-favorite stars to warble their way through power ditties by Journey, Starship, Twisted Sister, Foreigner and for sure Guns N' Roses. They perform credibly; Baldwin and Brand even share a couple of romantic duets.
It's a reminder that the model for the movie's club, the Whisky a Go-Go, earned its place in our culture by banning The Doors after Morrison's in-depth performance of "The End." There's hip and then there's Hollywood hip.
But here's a guilty secret that "Rock of Ages" has resurrected from the past century. People of a certain age, especially white people of a certain age, like this stuff. You know who you are.
And however much critics may fill sound and space with exhortations to standards, towards an ideal, another secret is that art doesn't necessarily have to be good to be entertaining. On screen, Tom Cruise rocks. His latest movie qualifies as easy watching.