Lead singer in cover - sorry, "tribute" - band is called in to replace the singer of the band they cover - Steel Dragon. His girlfriend/manager tags along, and there is tension between over what it means to be a "Rock Star".
That's the movie. There's other details such as tensions between various band members and hangers-on. Those details hardly matter. Well, actually, they could have mattered, even should have mattered, but the film takes a turn about two-thirds through to be entirely about this guy and his girlfriend.
I'm not convinced by the story at that turn. It's not a bad way to come to a conclusion, but it's too early to effectively drop everything else.
My own recommendation here, if you have an interest in the background of metal music in the eighties - and that's relatively lightweight metal - not the sort of music you'd get from Judas Priest, whose actual lead singer change was the inspiration for the movie - what I recommend is to enjoy the music as best you can, then turn the movie off when Jennifer Aniston leaves to Seattle. Consider what you've watched as an episode of VH1's Behind the Music, and that someday there'll be an update.
With Mark Wahlberg as our unmemorable protagonist, it's too bad there was no inspiration from Boogie Nights - that movie treated its characters with a certain discompassionate respect that Rock Star would have benefitted from. Too far in that direction, and we'd have a different movie. Perhaps it is fitting that the movie treats its characters shallowly, given the topic, but the film doesn't give us anything else to gnaw on.
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