If you’re an Elton John fangirl, you need to go immediately to see Rocketman. But you’ve probably already decided that so not sure this is the review you need! But if you’re more like me- appreciated the music but really didn’t know (or care) about the man and the stories behind the songs- do you need to see Rocketman? And even more importantly, should you let your kids see the Elton John biopic? Rocketman Parent movie review is here to help you decide.”
I grew up with Elton John’s music in the background of my childhood. And I appreciated him- though I was too young to actually understand his genius or grasp just how much of a showman he really was.
I went into Rocketman high off the music from Yesterday movie and figured, at the least, I’d hear some familiar favorites from the 70s, 80s, and 90s when John was all over the radio.
I definitely got that- but so much more. I wasn’t an Elton John fan so to speak going into Rocketman, but when I came out of the theater I had a better understanding and a newfound love for this musical genius. Elton John: you have a new fangirl.
Table of Contents
ROCKETMAN is an epic musical fantasy about the incredible human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years.
The film follows the fantastical journey of transformation from shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight into international superstar Elton John.
This inspirational story — set to Elton John’s most beloved songs and performed by star Taron Egerton — tells the universally relatable story of how a small-town boy became one of the most iconic figures in pop culture.
ROCKETMAN also stars Jamie Bell as Elton’s longtime lyricist and writing partner Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as Elton’s first manager, John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Elton’s mother Sheila Farebrother.
Run Time: 121 minutes
So we all pretty much know Elton John, right? The middle-class kid from England who learns to play the piano, changes his name from Reginald Dwight, and becomes arguably the biggest pop star of the 70s, 80s and 90s.
But Rocketman tells a more nuanced and deeper story with Taron Egerton as Elton John in this biopic retelling of his rise and fall.
From the first moments of the film, you know this is going to be a gritty and somewhat raw history. As much as I wish this movie was rated PG-13 so more kids could see it, I don’t think that would have been a truthful retelling of this story.
John’s life was nothing close to PG-13.
Rocketman starts with Elton John entering a rehab clinic (in full stage costume) and tells the story mostly in flashbacks. But at the clinic is where he lists off all his issues and faults:
- cocaine addict
- sex addict
- has issues with weed
- needs anger management help
If you didn’t know these things about him, the movie pulls no punches and gives it to you upfront.
We learn about his longtime issues with both his parents (just a little boy seeking his father’s approval, and living with a self-indulgent mother), his deep friendship with his co-writer Bernie Taupin, his complicated and destructive relationship with his first manager John Reid and his eventual fall into a life fueled by alcohol and drugs.
It’s pretty awful when you see it all on-screen- and I suspect this is just a snippet of the hell John went through over the years.
Almost immediately you are launched into a musical number- full-on performance, y’all- and that’s when I realized this was going to be a Broadway musical someday. Because that’s how it’s written and performed on screen. And by the end of the movie, I was ready to head to New York and pay reallllly good money to see this one on stage.
I wasn’t expecting the story to be told in this manner, so it took me by delightful surprise when that’s how it continued. It works and audiences of musical theater will dig it.
Also what works: every single actor. I appreciated and adored Jamie Bell as Bernie, hated both Bryce Dallas Howard (Elton’s mom) and Richard Madden (Elton’s love interest and predatory manager) and absolutely fell in love with Egerton’s Elton.
I won’t be surprised if Taron Egerton isn’t up for a host of awards this year; at times I had to wonder how Elton John himself time traveled in order to make an appearance as his younger self. Oh- and Egerton sings all the songs in the movie and does a wonderful job at sounding close but not exactly like Elton.
This one is a must-see for any music lover and a surprising delight for those of us who didn’t know just how cool Elton is.
No-Guilt Fangirls Podcast Rocketman Review
When Can You Pee During Rocketman?
Ah man, this was hard to decide. And maybe not as necessary since mostly adults are heading to this one- meaning it’s not as pivotal information in a Rocketman parent movie review vs say the Aladdin parent movie review.
The musical numbers are used primarily as transitions and offer tempting lulls in the story to make a run to the restroom during Rocketman. But- they are so good, y’all- and beautiful- that I can’t say you won’t miss a little if you need to run out.
However, if you’ve got to go, go- and just keep singing the songs (in your head of course) until you return.
But when can you pee during Rocketman? Here are a few suggestions.
- During an office scene around the 30-minute mark. John and Taupin are meeting with a new manager and you can make a dash here if needed.
- Again with this manager. I feel like another good restroom break during Rocketman is when he is sending the boys to LA and suggests that John buy some flashy new clothes. This is around the 42-minute mark and you’ll only miss a travel montage and welcome to Hollywood kind of thing.
- There’s a party scene where John’s parents show up. You can leave at this point to hit the potty! Around 1 hour 18 minutes or so.
Are There End Credit Scenes in Rocketman?
Not really. But you do want to stick around for the first couple of minutes of credits.
There’s a picture montage that was pretty mindblowing showing Egerton’s and John’s pictures side by side. Movie vs real life- and it just made everything kinda click for me.
Rocketman Parent Movie Review
I wish I could say this movie was for every dreamer and music loving kid out there. There were moments that were so profound and so important- especially for kids who might be struggling – that I think seeing his story might really help them.
However, as mentioned above, Elton John did not live a PG life- or PG-13 for that matter.
Rocketman is rated R for drugs, sex, and language and it’s a fair rating. I didn’t think things were over the top on any of the accounts considering what this pop star’s life was probably really like. But it’s also not something I need my younger children to see either.
There’s really very little nudity, however. We have one sex scene where I caught a glimpse of Egerton butt, but I believe that was it as far as nudity.
I could give my oldest an ok to see this movie if he made a passionate plea to do so, but I am not suggesting it or recommending it to anyone under the age of 17.
If you do take the kids, there’s a ton of questions/discussions that can come from watching this movie together. To start, you could talk about:
- How do you think he handled his rise to fame?
- How important do you think it is to have friends and people in your life you can trust?
- Do you think Hollywood and being a pop star is as glamorous as you thought before you saw this movie?
Patty Holliday is a parent movie reviewer, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews. As a lifelong fangirl and pop culture connoisseur, she’s been creating online since 2009. You can find her work at No-Guilt Disney.com, No-Guilt Fangirl.com, No-Guilt Life, and as host of the top-rated No-Guilt Disney Podcast.