Told in a brisk, take-no-prisoners voice, Ramone’s Burning Down Rome tells the story of the rise, fall, and resurrection of a Chicagoan rock and roll band, Cry Baby Jake. But more than that, it’s a coming of age story for the four band members: Kid, Joey, Cecily, and Natasha, four young adults madly in love with making music. With talent, guts, and sheer determination, they put together a band that sky-rockets to the top forty, and that’s where the story really begins.
Fame and fortune come too quickly to the little group. The foursome are each struggling with personal problems – child abuse, crippling self-doubt, personal loss, to name a few - , and use music as their outlet, only to find that the intense media attention and pressure from their record label makes the battle that much harder to fight. When one of their own succumbs to his demon, the band must decide what’s truly important: fame or family.
Ramone, who worked in Public Relations, keeps up a break-neck pace while still allowing plenty of time for character development. Snappy dialogue and thoughtful passages about life, love, and the pursuit of worth are sprinkled liberally through-out. It’s an exhausting, but ultimately uplifting story about the power of love and living the dream.