Saturday, January 01, 2011

thank god it's friday [1978]

the year is 1978 and disco is hots! the queen of the dance floor, donna summer, needs a movie vehicle to capitalize on this thing called disco. what to do? make a movie with summer acting herself in a disco! it's a no-brainer.

seriously, this pic is a no-brainer. really, no brain. i remember when this movie was released, i was 11 years old, but hadn't seen it until yesterday. on our new blu-ray dvd player is a hook-up for wi-fi and bundled on the system is a movie website crackle where there are a couple hundred movies to choose from and a like number of tv shows. for a movie geek this set-up is a wet dream. for sure, and this flick was one of the choices.

i really just wanted to watch the first few minutes but in the opening credits i saw the names, jeff goldblum, debra winger and teri nunn. goldblum and winger? is it really them? fo sho, 'tis the same. i wonder if this tiny flick is still on their resume. the real reason i watched this all the way thru is because of nunn. teri nunn was lead vocalist for the synth-slutty band, berlin, a guilty pleasure for me, and i've had a crush on nunn since i was 15 or 16 years old. but surely, nunn was too young to play in this movie, right?

apparently nunn was 16 or 17 when she played the role of an under-aged wannabe disco queen trying to sneak in to the zoo, a discotec owned by goldblum. winger assays a nice girl who is dragged to the zoo by her friend but who really is only looking for a nice guy to fall in love with. summer portrays an aspiring singer who sneaks into the d.j. booth when the band, the commodores, booked to play the dance contest, the contest nunn and her friend wants to compete in so they can win the $50.00 grand prize in order to buy tickets to see the rock outfit kiss, are late and she saved the day by singing her heart out. there's not a dry eye at the zoo when she's done.

oh it's a zany night in the city alright. continuing sight gags, such as the parking lot scenes where goldblum's car is constantly being bumped by passing vehicles, fall flat. no chemistry with the characters, and all are fairly unlikable. there are many mustaches present, some are on the dudes. and the music, except for the songs by summer, suck! nunn is lovely and it surprised me to see her in this flick because i didn't know she was an actress as well as singer. as for nunn's later incarnation as a singer, well i prefer that one, she has a great voice and her sexual tramp image was great if overshadowed by another singer, madonna.

this film is episodic and i can't recall one funny scene. i looked it up afterward and, yep, it's a comedy. but only in a technical sense. what this pic really is is a period piece of an era in pop culture. a time that won't come again, when easy sex, loose drug use, and a general partying gestalt expressed a generation that lived thru an unpopular war, high inflation, the energy crisis, and polyester suits. hey wait a minute, except for the polyester suits and the inflation, that could be now! well, shit, i guess it's time to party like it's 1999.


At 11:00 AM, Blogger Jim K. said...

long as i don't have to party
like that..

there is some pretty strange
stuff to view from around then.
late-70s - early-80s had a lot of
junky horror and scifi they use
for mystery science theatre 3000.
we're just getting into that,
on the roku.

At 8:05 PM, Blogger richard lopez said...

love those old flicks from the past just like that. also love mystery science theater 3000. as surprised later when i began collecting old exploitation pics on disc to discover that msk3 aired them a decade or so before.


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