When I first saw pictures of Kristen Stewart running down a street, dressed head to toe in leather, her glossy brown 'Bella' locks replaced with a jet black mullet-esque style, I was somewhat shocked. But it me amused nonetheless! What could she be working on? The proof was right there in the photos, in the shape of Joan Jett. Stewart was portraying Jett in The Runaways, a biographical film about the 1970s all girl rock band of the same name. To add to my interest, not longer after I saw the Stewart photos, some stills of Dakota Fanning appeared online, dressed in a denim jumpsuit! When the film had finally been made and the trailer was released, with Fanning as Cherie Currie in stockings and 'that' corset, blasting out Cherrybomb, I decided right then and there that I would love this film.
Of course I knew of Joan Jett, and of her music, but I admit that The Runaways eluded me; I didn't really know much about them at all, which doesn't really matter as that is the point in the film, to show people where it all started for Jett and how The Runaways made waves in the music industry. The screenplay was based on Currie's book, Neon Angel: A Memoir of a Runaway. Therefore the film depicts the formation of the band and focuses on the relationship between Jett and Currie, until the latter's departure from the band.
What I like about The Runaways is that it has a steady pace, and it has a lot to say without being too in-your-face; it is compulsive viewing which I love, sort of like a Sofia Coppola film. It is also interesting to watch just for the 70s fashion! I love Stewart and Fanning, and in this film Stewart has the perfect role. Her portrayal of Jett is spot on, as she is shy and awkward but still has that magnetic personality that makes you just want to watch her. But as good as she is, this film is definitely Fanning's film. It's quite a shock to see an actress who the world has seen as a cute child actor, take on such a daring role as this one. Fanning starts off as a young naive girl, who gets whipped up into the world of sex, drugs and rock and roll, and then spirals out of control as the lead singer of The Runaways.