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Overall Rating
1.6

Awesome: 6.67%
Worth A Look: 6.67%
Average: 6.67%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap80%

1 review, 9 user ratings


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Satisfaction
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by Charles Tatum

"The Day the Music Died"
1 stars

Best known as Julia Roberts' worst film (beating out competition like "Pretty Woman," "Mary Reilly," and "Hook"), this fiasco is eligible for many worst lists: Worst Liam Neeson Film, Worst Film of 1988, Worst Use of a Rolling Stones Song, and except for listening to my coworkers describe how "cool" the new "Transformers" flick is, Worst Way to Spend Ninety-Two Minutes.

Garage band Jennie Lee and the Mystery (their success is a Mystery, their talent is a Mystery, trust me, I've run the course of those jokes) is led by Jennie (Justine Bateman), a smart girl fresh out of high school. The other cliches in her band include bad girl Mooch (Trini Alvarado), dumb junkie Billy (Britta Phillips), pretty woman Daryle (Julia Roberts), and token penis carrier Nickie (Scott Coffey). The band, based on the mean streets of what looks like Baltimore, heads to the beach to audition as house band at Martin Falcon's (Liam Neeson) bar. Since even their jam sessions sound like professional recordings, they get the gig and then the complications ensue.

Jennie wants to go to college in the fall but falls for Martin, a washed-up drunken song writer still mourning his wife's death. Mooch and Nickie reluctantly grow closer. Billy takes drugs, preparing herself for the overdose scene you just know is coming. Daryle is attracted to rich law student Josh (Kevin Haley), conveniently forgetting hometown boyfriend Frankie (Chris Nash). It's tough when the band has to play, like, three or four songs a night, never sleep, and somehow come up with enough bad acting to make the audience stare in amazement. A possible European tour arises (World War II not bad enough?), and the band must grow up and do some hard thinking about where they want to be at the end of the summer.

This film is infamously bad. Monumentally bad. So bad, the screenwriter and director did not work again (according to IMDB) after this came out. The fact that Roberts and Neeson escaped this unscathed is a modern day miracle.

Some of my best friends are musicians, and this film is so far removed from the reality of live playing in a bar, it belongs in the science fiction section of your local video store. Every time Bateman opens her mouth to sing, the sound production is there and all background noise is silenced. Even in the creaky van on the way to Martin's bar, the "improvised" music is crystal clear. It's extra funny because we are treated to a high school graduation speech where Jennie tears her fellow students a new one, telling them not to be like generations before them and get off their asses and make a difference in this lousy world- and then she spends the rest of the film singing old rock and roll songs from that same lazy generation.

Aside from "satisfaction," most of the words spoken in the painful dialogue have just one syllable. It's as if the screenwriter transcribed a twelve year old girl's diary into a word processor, and printed out the result. The comedic scenes fall completely flat (the volleyball game), but they pale in comparison to the melodrama, which is ludicrous. Deborah Harry wanders in for a ten second cameo, and wisely leaves. The gang members looking for Mooch (she stole their van) resemble rejects from the now-late Michael Jackson's "Beat It" video (complete with blonde highlights and bandannas).

This was released to television as "Girls of Summer," trying to hide the fact that it bombed when it came out over twenty years ago. It will take me another twenty years of therapy to try and get the reggae version of "Mr. Big Stuff" out of my head. Do yourselves a favor, don't get no "Satisfaction."

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7202&reviewer=325
originally posted: 06/28/09 08:46:50
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User Comments

9/29/10 PAUL SHORTT DREADFUL TEEN DRAMA 1 stars
5/02/10 Broadmeadow Nice escape from reality. 4 stars
7/09/09 cialis wr4YTn rxfilnal hihctryw erhnhprw 5 stars
7/28/06 Abbygal I liked this movie it rocked 3 stars
8/04/05 Richard Simmons This movie stinks worse than a dead skunk 1 stars
8/27/04 K Man Actors should not be allowed to sing 1 stars
8/25/04 TJ ghey 1 stars
3/05/03 Sommersby Bateman sucks shit in this cliche-ridden band film. 1 stars
3/04/03 Charles Tatum Mommy, make the bad movie go away... 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  12-Feb-1988 (PG-13)
  DVD: 06-Sep-2005

UK
  N/A (15)

Australia
  23-Jun-1988 (M)




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