“‘The phone rings, in the middle of the night, my father asks ‘when you gonna live your life right…?'” The title, of course, comes from Cyndi Lauper’s 80’s classic of female empowerment via entertainment engagement, but that song was actually a cover, first released by Robert Hazard back in 1979. Lauper didn’t want her hit version to be involved with this daft cinematic spin-off, and so it’s not her vocals that’s used here. That’s not all that’s wrong with Alan Metter’s wonky pop-culture time-capsule, but it’ll do for a start; on three separate occasions, the song starts playing before we hand over to the vocals of Deborah Galli, and while her voice isn’t bad, it’s not the Girls Just Want To Have Fun we were all looking for.
Girls Just Want To Have Fun may not have what anyone’s looking for, but it’s got a lot that you would be ashamed to ask for; Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt play Janey and Lynne, two Chicago schoolgirls with a passion for dance; obviously this means the girls simply must compete at one of these new-fangled ‘Dance TV’ contests that everyone is talking about. Janey’s dad (the great Ed Lauter) has somehow been using military cargo planes to keep his daughter away from social distractions, and isn’t keen on her break for stardom, but learns to accept her gyrations on tv are good for the overall family mojo.
That parental conflict isn’t enough, so a script credited to Amy Spies (aka Janis Hirsch) goes off on a new angle; Janey and Lynne have a rich enemy in the form of Natalie Sands (Holly Gagnier) whose dad JP Sands (Moran Woodward) owns the bottling plant where the dad of Janey’s hunky dance-partner works. Rich people in this kind of movie are horrid, so the girls feel quite justified in inviting local punks (including punk icons Gina Gershon and Robert Downey Jr) to trash the Sands residence in the middle of a debutante party to a rabble-rousing, anti-authoritarian anthem that begins ‘You bring the Jack, I’ll bring the Coke…’
Yes, PG movies were a whole lot more loaded in 1985; there’s also plenty of sexual harassment included in this package, hideous leotards, some all-filla-no-killa tracks for the soundtrack album, and a general feel that this film would be out of date before it even hit theatres. Girls Just Want To Have Fun is still a popular song, but the film didn’t capture the same magic; it’s a reminder that there’s absolutely zero point in being nostalgic for any era that produced this.
Can they actually dance? That’s the killer in movies like this. Watch something that takes dance seriously and you soon see the difference.
Nopetty nopetty nope.
Is the correct answer.
If you make a movie named after a hit song, and the singer of that song doesn’t want their song associated with said movie, well, that’s your first clue……….!
Wise words. But as Adam Sandler says in The Wedding Singer, ‘information that might have been useful to me YESTERDAY!’
I have to admit, I’m getting the vibe that you’re jealous and bitter about not getting to wear hideous leotards back in the day and you’re taking it out on this movie.
SJP means I won’t be trying this though…
Who wouldn’t want the latest spandex outfit to appear on Dance TV?
No great fan of SJP either, we have so much in common! More connects us than divides us!
Well, all I know is that I look absolutely FAAAAABULOUS in spandex 😉
I agree. That’s why I keep hanging around 😀
Is the correct answer. Fraggles good, SJP bad, John Wick good. Easy when you know how.
Is it Wanna or Want to?
Remember the song, and even Homer Simpson singing it, but don’t recall this movie ever showing up on my radar. Oh well. All gone now.
It’s waiting for you now on Freeteevee or some other streaming service, whatever I watched it on. I’ve corrected Wanna to Want To, but I think Wanna sounds better. Girls Just Want To Have Fun sounds too Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey.
It definitely sounds like Wanna, but I guess the release title was Want to. And I know how you aim for being authoritative.
Too much other free stuff to watch to bother with this. Though it does make me want to go back and enjoy Valley Girl, which had Nic Cage and better music.
I’ll take that as a recommend. Electric Dreams was another great song to film conversion.
Yes, this website is very much about me being authoritative, that’s the goal.
I have fond memories of Valley Girl (1983) so that is a rec. Never saw the 2020 version.