Released theatrically in Canada (where it was shot) earlier this year, but straight-to-video in the U.S., the dimwitted musical comedy “Rock My World” might go completely unnoticed were it not for the presence of Peter O’Toole and Joan Plowright in the leads.
Down-on-their-luck Lord Foxley (O’Toole) and his wife (Plowright) have agreed to rent out their stately manor house in the English countryside for a week to a hugely successful American rock band, Global Heresy (which was pic’s title during its theatrical run). Lest their financial need be discovered, the Foxleys have sent their trusty cook Margaret and butler Benson away for the week and hired temporary replacements to serve in their stead. But when the replacements fail to show, the proper Lord and Lady must assume the servants’ roles, for risk of the entire rental deal falling apart.
Expected shenanigans ensue, with the Lord making a poor butler and the Lady an even worse cook, while simultaneously trying to purge from the house any traces of their real identities. Meanwhile, there’s lots of intrigue with Global Heresy: the band’s lead singer has gone missing, so he’s been replaced with a she (Alicia Silverstone). Moreover, the band’s own record label may get them to sign new contracts that cheat them out of their royalties.
This all might have made for an amusing episode of “Fawlty Towers” (especially given that one of pic’s recurring gags, in which Lord Foxley is mistaken as gay by one of the bandmates, is a direct lift from that series’ classic “Wedding Party” episode), but stretched out to feature length, it’s interminable. Direction by the indefatiguable Sidney J. Furie is impersonal and inconsistent.
O’Toole and Plowright radiate class, which is something “Rock My World” could use more of.