ENTER.... Dr. Isaksson.....RAISES HIS HANDS IN FRONT OF HIM AND CLAPS::
OK people, get your leg warmers on and fix the velcro on your knee pads. You got some dancing to do! But mind you, it's not any of that difficult break dancing or anything. Its just gonna be some nice jazzy free flowing 80s type stuff with some gymnastics thrown in if you got the skills. So suit up guys and gals. We got some expressin' to do!............. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" was a musical motto created and yelped by the brilliant Cyndi Lauper and then further explored within the scope of film by a not so brilliant Director Alan Metter. Note to all you dancers.. Expect to see lots of dance moves and lots of hairspray. Its not just for entertainment people! It's a passion in your soul. I want your total commitment!1985's Girls Just Want to Have Fun spins in as yet another teen inspirational film with loads of dancing and drum machine laden music poppin' away in the backdrop. (It's not as if we don't have enough of these films to represent the 80s or anything.) However there is a place for a nice refreshing dance fest where teens find a way to 'make it big.' After all, isn't that what Solid Gold set out to teach us? Dance for your dreams baby!
The films starts off with the ever present Sarah Jessica Parker as Janey Glenn. A grinning, shy newcomer to town who is introduced to us and her fellow Catholic Girls' School classmates as a shy and gangly teenager yearning to fit in and make a place for herself outside the norm. She is just itching to get out of her ugly ass uniform and into something shiny. Almost instantaneously she meets and befriends a fellow classmate Lynne Stone, (the forever been 30 years old Helen Hunt) who shares many of the same interests as she. They both discover that each are smitten by a popular local Chicago program called 'Dance TV' and race over to a ritzy home that Lynne baby sits for to watch the program after school. Of course they can't watch it at Janey's house because her father does not approve. He's an ex-military type who likes to keep his daughter in line. (This is an instant wall for Janey to get over now.)
While watching, Janey and Lynne discover that the show is looking for the next two big dance TV stars. A dance competition is about to take place to find the best male and female dancers Chicago has to offer. Needless to say Janey and Lynne are off to the dances to show themselves off in all their bouncy and lively cuteness. Janey is determined to be the next big Dance TV star and show them all what shes got. Cut to one of the most exuberant and semi-cheesey dance offs this side of Kelly K in Breakin.' It's here that Janey meets and is paired with a cocky male contestant named Jeff who is there with his supportive younger sister Maggie (Shannen Doherty). The newly paired up Janey and Jeff must work together and train for the big final dance off to determine who will be the next Dance TV stars. Will Janey manage to sneak this past her father? Will she be able to get from under the rulers of the Nuns at school? Will she be able to get along with her headstrong dance partner? Can she make it all the way? So many questions.. So much hairspray, glitter and spandex.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun is just dripping with dance numbers that spring up when the teens need to practice for the big competition and the camera does a good job capturing the actual art of movement. The dancing is of good quality which is always a plus for a movie that centers on this art form. Just remember, there's going to be a lot of over the top gestures which were famous in the 80s and lots of high crispy hair. My favorite fashion addition is the hat Helen Hunt wears to the dance off. You have GOT to see it to believe it people! The only thing I found peculiar and almost irritating (besides the fashion) was the film's lack of any adult supervision for the dance training sessions. If this were a big contest to find the next hot Dance TV couple then shouldn't it have a training area or something? And shouldn't it have some officials watching over the contestants or something?Oh well, I figured a lack of budget on the film kept that from occurring. Besides, I suppose Janey and her studly male partner did need a few one on one moments together to hash out their little issues and get out those passionate dancer feelings. Forget the adults. They got some tense and emotion filled moments to sort out in front of a big studio mirror.
As much as I seem enthused by my review of this film I was not entirely thrilled by the directors failure to keep the story consistently going. Also, some characters fade away and others disappear for quite awhile before popping back up again. Some characters strangely got more of an introduction than needed and others didn't get enough. So overall I got a little lost in some sections and my joy in watching was sadly dimmed. I did however have some favorite moments. Such as witnessing Helen Hunt dance. This event alone is worth picking this up for! And some assured chuckles when I saw someone just break into dance as if they had been possessed by the devil of dance. Whamo! Instant moves coming up! Then of course there's Shannen Doherty. Again seeing her in acid wash jeans alone is worth seeing the film. This was before she was a Heather and long before Brenda Walsh but who doesn't love Shannen? ummmm wait... Don't answer that..Girls Just Want to Have Fun was hardly a work of art in any respect but the dancing was good and the performances were bubbly and I did enjoy the fashions which took me back to my youth. If it held its story and characters together better I would have given it 3 but I am stuck handing it ** 1/2 stars.