- Movie Rating -

Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)

| April 12, 1985

Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” is one of those songs where, when you hear it, it is hard to stand still.  It belongs on the shelf with songs like “Don’t Be Cruel” or “Tutti Frutti” or Surfin’ U.S.A.”  It’s fun, robust, energetic and it makes you want to move around.  I had hope that this kind of energy would run through the movie that bears the same name.  It is not.  This is a routine, boring teen romance with little ambition, little interest and surprising lack of energy.

The story is off the assembly line: pretty Janey (Sarah Jessica Parker) wants to win a dance contest on a local TV show.  Her dad (Ed Lauter) is a fuddy-duddy stick-in-the-mud who doesn’t approve of that wiggle and jive nonsense and forbids it.  But he and Janey’s mother naturally come around when they actually see Janey dance.  Well, she doesn’t technically dance.  It’s more a series of flips and acrobatics.

In the meantime she gets involved with a cute guy from school who also wants to compete in the contest.  Their relationship is cute and sweet and candy-coated, right out of an old Sandra Dee movie, illustrating that this movie was obviously produced by people who were young when those movies were new.  This is what they think of teenagers in the 1980s, but where is the modernization?  Where are the kids of the MTV generation?  This movie feels about 25 years out of date and there are scenes, like one involving a nun on a pommel horse, that feel like something about of one of those dopey Disney comedies from the 60s.

What a disappointment.  The movie has the color and the look to match the song but nothing that you see outside of that tune can even come close to the vibrancy of that music video.  This was a lost opportunity.

About the Author:

Jerry Roberts is a film critic and operator of two websites, Armchair Cinema and Armchair Oscars.
(1985) View IMDB Filed in: Comedy