Lion of the Blogosphere

Desperately Seeking Susan

My impression of this movie is that someone wanted to make a movie starring Madonna, but then they discovered that Madonna can’t act, so really the movie stars Rosanna Arquette as Roberta Glass, “a housewife from Fort Lee New Jersey” who gets mistaken for Susan, the character played by Madonna who only has a supporting role in the movie.

Roberta is bored with her beta-male provider husband and envies Susan whose more exciting life she follows in classified ads in the newspaper. (You do remember classified ads in the newspaper, right?) Then Roberta gets knocked on the head and conveniently gets amnesia, and thinks that she’s Susan.

The upside is that Rosanna Arquette is very cute, and Madonna looks as hot as Madonna looked back in 1985. And there’s a lot of great 1980s hair.

Everyone tries to speak with a prole New York accent but they don’t really get it right.

At Rotten Tomatoes the movie scores 87%, which must entirely be because of 80s nostalgia and not because it’s a great movie. It’s a cute movie. I guess I’m glad I re-watched it. But St. Elmo’s Fire is a much better movie from 1985. In fact, I would say that St. Elmo’s fire is the quintessential 80s movie. (St. Elmo’s Fire is the quintessential 80s movie despite actually not making much money when it was playing in the theaters. It’s a movie that’s a lot better 30 years later.)

* * *

I guess it’s 80s week at the blog. What else would you like me to review from the 1980s?

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 6, 2016 at 12:59 am

Posted in Movies

45 Responses

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  1. I always loved this movie. You got a couple things wrong, and made one glaring omission. First, RA was not merely “cute” but was outrageously sexy, way hotter than Madonna. That overbite is killer. Second, hardly anyone’s trying to talk New Yawk. Roberta’s husband the hot tub salesman talks California, and so does
    Roberta’s love interest, played by Aidan Quinn. You omitted one of the funniest scenes in movie history, the Danceteria scene, where the square Gary Glass, in a business suit, finds himself unwittingly dancing with a bunch of demi-monde freaks. The music is Madonna’s Into The Groove, possibly the catchiest (f****** autocorrect!) disco track of all time. One final note: the cab driver who Madonna tries to rip off is played by an actor named Rockets Redglare, a riot in itself. This film was supposed to kick off the era of the great women directors.. Alas, Susan Seidelman never did anything of note after this.

    Sid Storch

    January 6, 2016 at 1:33 am

    • “This film was supposed to kick off the era of the great women directors.”

      I guess we’re still waiting for that era to begin.

      peterike

      January 6, 2016 at 9:07 am

      • Lost In Translation was good. The Piano and Whale Rider were pretty good too. In fact Whale Rider is one of the few girl power flicks that didn’t make my stomach do flip flops.

        Another good New Zealand film is The Dead Lands (not a female director).

        slithy toves

        January 6, 2016 at 1:19 pm

      • Lost in Translation was great, but I think it was entirely an accident and not because Sofia Coppola (who only got the opportunity to direct a movie because of who her father is) was any good as a director.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 6, 2016 at 2:10 pm

      • I wouldn’t go so far as to chalk it up to accident, but it is certainly her only good film. Marie Antionette was a snoozefest.

        slithy toves

        January 6, 2016 at 6:02 pm

  2. I agree. St. Elmo’s Fire was the quintessential movie of the 80s. The message ‘you have to grow up even if you don’t wanna’ kind of hit home for me at the time. What was the quintessential TV Show? Miami Vice? I can’t think of many others, but I only really watched Tony Danza shows most of that decade (Taxi reruns and Whose the Boss). The quintessential band? The Ramones, Talking Heads and Elvis Costello.

    Curle

    January 6, 2016 at 2:53 am

    • “The quintessential band? The Ramones, Talking Heads and Elvis Costello.”

      The thing about so many of those great “80s” bands was that their best work was done in the 70s.

      peterike

      January 6, 2016 at 9:09 am

      • The thing about so many of those great “80s” bands was that their best work was done in the 70s.

        ZZ Top, Van Halen, Heart. Harder rock in 1970s, softer MTV rock in 1980s.

        The 1980s was about the rise of a new media – CNN, MTV, ESPN were new and huge. Also VCRs and camcorders, walkman.

        Lots of women and girls had puffy hair and bad, overly colorful clothes.

        1980s – Reagan, end of the cold War, beginning of the End of the White American majority, very “corny” decade.

        Rifleman

        January 6, 2016 at 10:10 am

      • The best ’80s music didn’t get much mainstream radio play in the ’80s, but still sounds timeless today: The Cult, The Smiths, The Cure, etc.

        Dave Pinsen

        January 6, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    • Cheers?

      CamelCaseRob

      January 6, 2016 at 9:10 am

  3. The obvious ’80s movie for you to review would be Working Girl, given the role Staten Island plays in it.

    Dave Pinsen

    January 6, 2016 at 3:10 am

  4. BTW – Not to be a downer, but to be faithful to recalling the 80s, we’d be remiss to ignore/forget the beginnings of the AIDS crises. I remember one year when 1) a friend in her twenties got a big promotion because her supervisor got it and died; 2) two gals I knew spent weeks praying to the porcelain god for the six weeks or so it took to get HIV results after their ‘boyfriends’ got it and the boyfriends later died; 3) one guy from HS, one from college and another I knew from church (of all places) bit it the space of about 12 months. Maybe reviewing the AIDS crises is outside your portfolio, but it was a weird time and definitely a part of the 80s that doesn’t inspire nostalgia.

    Curle

    January 6, 2016 at 3:11 am

    • It was call GRID. Gay-related immunodeficiency.

      Latias

      January 6, 2016 at 7:31 am

  5. Have you done any reviews of Rodney Dangerfield’s oeuvre in the ’80s? I mean, you could probably ID many of the locations where his masterpieces (and I mean that) were filled in the NY/NJ area.

    Abundance Mentality

    January 6, 2016 at 3:20 am

  6. Talk about Elliot Rodger’s taste in music. That is about the 80s.

    Latias

    January 6, 2016 at 5:41 am

  7. Off topic:
    It is about psychometrics, verbal intelligence (the paper uses the wordsum), and bullshit receptivity (i.e. that is essentially semantically meaningless or trivially correct but regarded by some as profound).

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/12031212/Scientists-find-link-between-people-impressed-by-wise-sounding-profound-quotes-and-low-intelligence.html

    http://journal.sjdm.org/15/15923a/jdm15923a.pdf

    Latias

    January 6, 2016 at 5:44 am

  8. The Breakfast Club, Red Dawn, Christmas Vacation, Fawlty Towers (late 70s), St Elmo’s Fire

    Otis the Sweaty

    January 6, 2016 at 8:22 am

  9. Revenge of the Nerds

    SWPL2

    January 6, 2016 at 8:36 am

    • Revenge of the Nerds is 80s stealth anti-white. It transposes the classic Jewish conspiracy theories onto the Nerds and demonizes the WASP. Ditto 80s stealth anti-white for Caddy Shack and The Karate Kid.

      fakeemail

      January 6, 2016 at 12:06 pm

  10. Ferris Beuller’s Day Off (1986)

    CamelCaseRob

    January 6, 2016 at 9:13 am

  11. “Family Ties” is the quintessential 80s show….God I miss the 80s. (High school class of ’85 in Boston).

    FB (Former Beta)

    January 6, 2016 at 9:14 am

    • I would agree that Family Ties is the quintessential 80s family sitcom. (I’m narrowing the category a bit.)

      Cheers it the quintessential adult sitcom.

      I have mixed feelings about the A-Team for action series. It’s almost unwatchable it’s so bad, but somehow I loved it when I was a teenager.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 6, 2016 at 9:23 am

      • You’ve really got to read Ready Player One. All this stuff makes an appearance in it. In fact, it introduces a new kind of virtual reality game, where you are the main character in an ’80s movie such as War Games.

        Dave Pinsen

        January 6, 2016 at 5:13 pm

  12. Garbage Patch kids, Voltron, GI Joe, He Man, Pound Puppies, etc. The toy figurines back then were much cooler than the crap now.

    DdR

    January 6, 2016 at 10:06 am

    • I think you mean Garbage Pail kids. there was also the Cabbage Patch kids (dolls).

      Andrew E.

      January 6, 2016 at 6:49 pm

  13. How about “Magnum P.I”?

    “The Fall Guy” was also Fun (had the very attractive Heather Thomas in it…she was pure catnip for a teenage boy)

    FB (Former Beta)

    January 6, 2016 at 10:15 am

  14. …her beta-male provider husband

    Finally!!!

    Yes, THAT’S what beta is. A responsible, NORMAL, provider type.

    NOT some misfit, raging loser.

    Hence the irrationality of the term “beta male rage”.

    Betas don’t rage. They serve, submit, go along and do what is expected of them.

    Rifleman

    January 6, 2016 at 10:42 am

    • Thus the fascination with beta-male rage. It’s sort of a man-bites-dog event.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 6, 2016 at 11:02 am

      • Thus the fascination with beta-male rage.

        But it’s a fascination for something that does not exist!

        None of the males who’ve committed violent crimes labeled as “beta male rage” crimes have been normal, provider males. NONE OF THEM.

        Every one has been a social loser/misfit/failure. Whether truly mentally ill or not.

        So none where beta. They were SUB omega. That is not even the typical harmless omega, the type at the scifi gamer conventions, star wars nerds, or the stereotype of the pathetic adult nerd. Harmless omegas.

        It’s sort of a man-bites-dog event.

        It’s not man-bites dog. It’s loser creep tortures and kills neighbor’s dog because he’s an angry loser creep.

        Rifleman

        January 6, 2016 at 11:51 am

      • BMR sounds better than Omega–Rage, have you been MIA when we said that it’s omega males are the ones who go on berzerko sprees?

        JS

        January 6, 2016 at 2:32 pm

  15. [What else would you like me to review from the 1980s?]

    How about Ferris Bueller’s Day Off?

    I never understood the appeal of the film, but it’s considered a classic. My husband loves it. My kids love it. They’ve watched it so many times they have the script memorized. But the movie makes no sense to me.

    And how about the film “Legend.” That was the first movie I attended unchaperoned.

    slithy toves

    January 6, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    • I also never understood the appeal of Ferris Bueller.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 6, 2016 at 2:11 pm

      • That’s because he is alpha and you are beta.

        ScarletNumber

        January 6, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      • How is he alpha? He’s skinny, weird, not that attractive, and behaves stupidly throughout his “day off.”

        slithy toves

        January 6, 2016 at 7:43 pm

  16. Cars. The vehicles, not the band.

    J1

    January 6, 2016 at 2:22 pm

  17. In fact, I would say that St. Elmo’s fire is the quintessential 80s movie.

    Yep, but we can’t forget that other Brat Pack classic starring a young Demi Moore and pretty boy Rob Lowe – “About Last Night” from ’86. And “Top Gun,” also from ’86. And Rocky III (’82) and IV (’85).

    Two weeks after I saw “Top Gun” I walked into the US Marine Corp recruiting station to try to sign on to become a Marine Corps pilot. The previous four years staring at computer screens banging out my undergrad Computer Science degree ruined my eyesight and I couldn’t pass the USMC vision test. Oh well, I just went back to my software job at a large government defense contractor for $35K (pretty decent salary right out of undergrad in ’86).

    E. Rekshun

    January 6, 2016 at 4:53 pm

  18. Purple Rain, A Fish Called Wanda. 2 movies you could review.

    mark

    January 6, 2016 at 4:59 pm

  19. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (’82), Karate Kid (’84), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (’86), Full Metal Jacket (’87), Casualties of War (’89).

    Oh, and we can’t forget the Madona classic with then-husband Sean Penn, Shanghai Surprise (’86)!

    E. Rekshun

    January 6, 2016 at 5:02 pm

  20. I guess it’s 80s week at the blog. What else would you like me to review from the 1980s?

    Video games. You know you want to. My fav’s: Lords of Conquest and Questron on the Commodore 64. World Games deserves an honorable mention too.

    Portlander

    January 7, 2016 at 1:02 am

    • I never had a C64.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      January 7, 2016 at 7:54 am

      • Neither did I, but I did have a Radio Shack TRS80 Color Computer w/ 16K ram! It sold for about $300 back in the early ’80s.

        E. Rekshun

        January 7, 2016 at 11:40 am

  21. By coincidence, AntennaTV reran Arquette’s only appearance on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson the night after you made this post. It was from November 1986.

    For those in and around NYC, it is channel 11.2.

    ScarletNumber

    January 7, 2016 at 4:42 pm

  22. Madonna was signed for the movie before she was a big star. She was perfectly cast, as she just had to be a goofy rock star for the role.

    George AngryDad

    January 7, 2016 at 5:27 pm


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