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Review: Billie Joe Armstrong stars as an over-the-hill rocker in ‘Ordinary World’

‘Ordinary World’
Fred Armisen, left, and Billie Joe Armstrong in the movie “Ordinary World.”
(Let It Play)

Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong plays an aging rocker grappling with a mid-life crisis in writer-director Lee Kirk’s “Ordinary World.” Armstrong, whose melodious yelp helped punk go mainstream in the 1990s, is a welcome and winning screen presence as befuddled rad dad Perry Miller.

Kirk surrounds him with a star-studded supporting cast: Fred Armisen as bandmate Gary, Chris Messina as Perry’s brother and business partner, Selma Blair as his wife, and Judy Greer as an old flame, among many other recognizable faces. Unfortunately, the cast and a few sweet tunes by Armstrong are the only things going for this delayed coming-of-age dramedy.

On his 40th birthday, Perry rebels against his mundane existence, attempting to throw an extravagant party in an expensive hotel suite with all his pals. But his family duties beckon, and though he’s nostalgic for his carefree, youthful days, he’s outgrown the rock star lifestyle.

The story is all too familiar and underdeveloped. We can infer the reasons why Perry does what he does, but it’s never articulated well enough on screen. We never really understand the motivation behind his series of poor choices other than a vague sense of suburban malaise.

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Armstrong makes an apt leading man for a story like this, and moments between Perry and his budding rocker daughter Salome (Madisyn Shipman) are immensely charming. But “Ordinary World” is just too, well, ordinary to be truly compelling.

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‘Ordinary World’

Not rated

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Running time: 1 hour 26 minutes

Playing: Laemmle Monica Film Center, Santa Monica

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