Girls Just Want To Have Fun is just plain fun
Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Girls Just Want To Have Fun is a sweet and adorable movie. It is fun to watch and you really care about the characters. This movie didn't really do well with the critics and I'm not sure how it did at the box office, but it is one of those perfect rental movies. I would have paid full price at the theater to see the movie, but since I wasn't old enough to understand the movie, I didn't see it.
I'm not sure why I like it so much. I have seen it many times and I always feel good when the movie ends. It could be the ending of the movie because it ends in a perfect way. Everything ends up on a bright note. The villain gets what she deserves and the heros win. The movie is predictable and so we know how the movie will end. But the way the producers approach it is sensitive and wonderful. The movie has a cute story and a good plot.
The movie opens as Janey (Sarah Jessica Parker) introduces herself to her classmates at her new Catholic school. After she tells the class that she loves to dance, a witty and funny Lynne Stone (Helen Hunt) takes a liking to her. She introduces herself on the bus as they head for home. Lynne takes Janey to her babysitting job to watch a popular show on TV: Dance TV (almost like MTV, but more organized). As they watch the show, they learn of a dance contest to find the new dance regulars. This sets up the second act of the movie.
The dance sequences are well choreographed, especially the final dance contest. One of my favorite scenes is a third of the way through the movie, during the dance try-outs. The entire scene unfolds nicely and ends the way we want it, well, sort of. Janey qualifies and gets hooked up with Jeff Malene (Lee Montgomery) who can dance but doesn't like Janey. Actually he likes her, but he doesn't want her to know. She likes him too, but they don't get along. Lynne doesn't qualify because an evil and stuckup Natalie Sands (Holly Gagnier) sets Lynne's partner up. And of course, Lynne wants revenge.
The characters are wonderful. Janey is the teenager who does everything her father tells her to. But she begins to sneak out of her house and school. Her father (Ed Lauter) is a strict, retired Colonel who believes in rules and curfews. Lynne is the wild and cool friend who makes Janey disobey her dad. Jeff is the wildman and rides around on his motorcycle. But he can dance as well. Natalie is the villain of the movie and, though not the best villain ever made, makes Alicia Silverstone's character in Clueless look smart and not stuck-up. Every character is essential for the movie and all of them provide their own kind of humor.
The acting is what makes the movie shine, however. Sarah Jessica Parker, who looks older than her character, is cute and good. She has the perfect quality to play this role and does it well. She steals most of the scenes that she is in, but Helen Hunt steals the rest. Hunt, before she was in her popular TV show "Mad About You" and her hit movie, Twister, is hilarious as Lynne. She provides most of the great humor of the movie, and in one of my favorite lines of the movie is when she asks Janey if she does everything that her father tells her to do. Lynne responds, "Oh God, you do." It is hilarious. Lee Montgomery is terrific and he is the plot device that the writer used to move into the third act. But he also portrays the character well and supplies a wonderful emotional quality as he tries to fight over what to do about J.P. Sands (Morgan Woodward).
The supporting characters are good as well. Jonathan Silverman is funny as the dorky sidekick of Jeff. Shannen Doherty, before her "Beverly Hills, 90210" stardom, is cute and I never thought it was her until I saw her name in the credits. Holly Gagnier is the one big disappointment in the movie. She is mean, but she has no emotion. All her lines are the exact same: squeeky and whiny. Ed Lauter is good, but I got tired of his Army talk. But that was his character and he played it well. Morgan Woodward actually seems like the real villain of the movie. He is mean and will do anything for his daughter. Biff Yeager, who plays Jeff's father, is the advice-giver of the movie.
Girls Just Want To Have Fun is rated PG. It's a very good family movie and everyone should enjoy it. There is some language but not as much as the movies of recent days. There is hardly any violence, except for maybe a scene at a party where a group of wild-haired people crash it. That's about all that is in it. There is nothing offensive in the movie, except for some of the jokes. There is one line that Drew (Silverman) says: "It's the safest thing you'll have between your legs." It's crude but that's his character. Little kids won't understand it, or understand what he said but adults will probably find it funny. I did.
***1/2 out of ****
Reviews by Boyd Petrie