“ Genre: Comedy / Theatrical Release: 1985 / Director: Alan Metter / Actors: Sarah Jessica Parker, Lee Montgomery, Helen Hunt, Morgan Woodward, Ed Lauter ... / DVD released 2001-01-30 at Anchor Bay / Features of the DVD: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Colour, Dolby, DVD-Video, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen „
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This film takes me right back to my childhood! I first watched it when I was 7, then promptly proceded to wear out the video over the next few years watching it over and over again. (so much so the picture started flickering!) Myself and my cousins knew majority of the dialogue off by heart and would sing along to all the cheesy 80's tracks and try to copy the impressive dance moves!
The film stars Sarah Jessica Parker who plays Janey. Janey moves to Chicago with her family and starts at a new strict school, ruled by slightly scary looking nuns. When she is standing in front of the class introducing herself, she starts gushing about her love of dance, catching the attention of rebel teenager Lynne (played by Helen Hunt) who quickly befriends her.
They are both avid fans of the Chicago based dance show DanceTV and when they find out the show is holding auditions for a new couple of Dance TV regular dancers they both jump at the chance to audition, Janey doing so against her strict father's wishes.
Sarah Jessica Parker is actually a trained dancer and gymnast, her gymnastic tumbling and dancing is so impressive! She of course wows the judges at the audition but Lynne's performance is deliberately sabataged by the film's evil character, spoilt brat Natalie Sands who thinks she should win the competition and sets to bring down Janey.
The film's teen hunk is a character called Jeff who also auditions for the competition. He is paired up with Janey who pretends that she doesn't fancy him even though it's obvious that she does....! As does the evil Natalie Sands. (By the way, Jeff's audition is hilarious! He's not a trained dancer in real life so a lot of it isn't him doing the moves but it's so cheesy to watch and you WILL laugh) Yes I was sad enough to look up the trivia for this film but you'll be surprised how many fans it has!
So Janey and Jeff start rehearsing for the competition, which means Janey has to bunk off school, sneak out the house without her father knowing and generally be a bit of a rebel! At first her and Jeff fight and squabble over silly things like music choices etc but eventually they bond over a prank Janey and Lynne play on the evil Natalie and awwww they start to fall in love :)
Then the exciting part.....the competition day arrives!!! It's all a bit tense as Janey has been found out by her dad when he catches her sneaking back into her room through the window and grounds her.
Luckily Lynne comes to the rescue, sneaking her out of the house and they both leg it over to the studios. They get there in the nick of time so Janey can compete with Jeff and funnily enough when the show is live and they are introducing all the couples, Janey's family spot her on TV! Haha! Instantly her Dad is furious and immediately heads over to the studio to stop Janey.....
The competition bit is my favourite bit in the whole film...each couple are unique and the dancing is brilliant! Even Natalie is quite good (she's also a trained dancer in real life and the costume she competes in is very glam) But Janey and Jeff blow everyone away with their awesome routine!! Janey's dad arrives at the studio, sees his daughter dancing and is blown away by her talent :)
But there's a twist....when they are adding up the scores they realise there is a tie! Between guess who? That's right, Janey and Jeff and Natalie and her partner (a silent but strong man-he just puts up with her bossing him about really)
So they finish with a big dance off!! This is where Natalie really shines in my opinion, her moves are really elegant and the music in this bit is ace! But Janey and Jeff are also equally brilliant and it's touch and go for a while.....finally they announce the winners and Janey and Jeff win!!! Natalie storms off and is shunned by her father whereas Janey's dad is clapping and yelling as he is so proud of his daughter. It's a great cheesy ending :)
If you love 80's dance films, you will love this one. The acting isn't the best at times and some scenes are a bit cringy but the standard of dancing more than makes up for that! 10/10
There are some ridiculously amusing things to look out for when watching a movie that has been made in the 80's- bad hair, terrible fashion and seriously cheesy music. Girls Just Want To Have Fun manages to encompass all of these things-with some cringe-worthy dance moves to boot!
Janey Glenn (Sarah Jessica Parker) has just moved to Chicago, after years of travelling the world due to her father's work in the army. On her first day at an all-girls Catholic high school, Janey is made to stand at the front of the class and introduce herself. As she gushes about her love of dance, she soon catches the attention of Lynne Stone (Helen Hunt), and the two become firm friends.
When Janey hears that her favourite show- Dance TV- is holding auditions, she and Lynne decide to try out. Unfortunately, Lynne does not get through, thanks to the scheming of another contestant- spoiled princess Natalie. However, Janey does get through to the final and is paired up with another auditionee, Jeff (Lee Montgomery).
The movie then follows Janey and Jeff as they try to rehearse for the big final, despite obstacles in the form of jealous Natalie's dirty tricks, and Janey's overly strict father (Ed Lauter)- Janey has not told him about her place in the competition as he refused to let her audition. The film's finale is of course, the dance competition, where Janey and Jeff have to battle it out against the other couples- if the dance sequences here don't get you laughing, not much else will!
Girls Just Want To Have fun is a good movie to watch if you just want to have a bit of a girly giggle. Fans of Sex and The City will probably get a laugh out of seeing a fresh-faced SJP, back in the days before she was considered a fashionista. The supporting cast in this film is also pretty good, with Hunt and Montgomery both putting in fair performances. Comedy value can be found in the form of Jonathan Silverman, who plays Jeff's geeky best friend Drew, with Shannen Doherty also giving a few laughs as Jeff's younger sister Maggie.
Although Girls Just Want To Have Fun may not be considered a must-own chick flick, it is perfect for a girls night in- wine and chocolate required!
Janey Glenn is delighted when her family, who have constantly moved around the world, finally settle in Chicago - all the more so because she loves the local radio station 'Dance TV'. When Janey and fellow schoolgirl Lynne Stone hear about the competition that Dance TV is holding, they know they have to enter. And although Lynne doesn't get through the auditions, Janey is offered a place in the finals, partnering the gorgeous Jeff. But Janey's father is very strict and refuses to let her take part. On top of that, Jeff takes an instant dislike to Janey and there is another girl in the competition who is determined to use her connections to win. Will Janey manage to hold her own if she even manages to take part in the competition?
As so often happens with clever marketing, I picked this DVD up because I saw that both Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt were in it, not realising until I started watching that the film was made in 1985 before either of them had really made their name. However, having grown up in the nineteen eighties, and always enjoying the odd trip down memory lane, I thought it would be fun to watch. And I was nearly right. There is a lot wrong with the film, but it did bring back some memories and it was entertaining to a point.
It was amazing to see Sarah Jessica Parker looking so young as Janey. And apart from the bushy hair (it was fashionable back then, honest), she looked great. I'm not sure she whether she had a body double for some of the more acrobatic moves, but it looked very convincing if so, and as a dancer she was really good. She was slightly annoying at times, but only in that self-centred way that all teens are, in thinking that the entire world should revolve around them. And her voice was less grating than in Sex and the City. All in all, a good performance in rather a twee film.
Helen Hunt as Lynne. was something else. She looked and acted as though she was on speed. Seriously, it was embarrassing. I think she was probably trying to drum home that she was a fun-loving teen (she would have been twenty-something at the time), but overdid it by rather a lot. Thankfully, she didn't have as much screen-time as Janey, or I would have found it unbearable. I've always thought of Helen Hunt as being much classier than this, so perhaps that was why I found it so painful - either way, this was not a good role for her.
Lee Montgomery as Jeff is completely forgettable - nothing more than eye candy - but then this film is all about girl power and girls having fun!! Shannen Doherty appears as Jeff's younger sister - she looks incredibly young, but very beautiful, despite lots of manic running around. Is it me, or was that trendy back in the eighties - being slightly manic I mean? Finally, Ed Lauter is good as Janey's strict father - he scared me anyway and is one of the few of the cast that doesn't look very different today.
The dance element does make it a bit more interesting, although like the fashions, it seems very dated - think Fame and Flashdance and you'll know what I mean. And the fashions are really hideous. I know I used to wear clothes like that and have big hair, but I'd prefer not to be reminded these days! If you are an eighties child and want your children to have a good giggle over what you used to look like, then by all means, get this film out. If not, stay well clear. And the music isn't much better. This is an American film, so it perhaps isn't surprising that I didn't know much of the music, apart from Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want to Have Fun, but I wasn't all that impressed by what I heard of it.
The main problem with the film is that it is nothing but a pile of fluff. That's fine if that's all you're looking for, but even by fluff standards, I think there are much better films out there - something like Mannequin, Dirty Dancing or Legally Blonde immediately spring to mind. It is exactly the sort of film that I would have enjoyed when I was a teenager - girl proving the world wrong against all odds with some great dancing to boot - but it is, I think, too dated to be enjoyed by this generation's teenagers and needs to be relegated to the bargain bucket.
And it is exactly in the bargain bucket that I found this DVD - it cost me just £1 in Woolworths - so I suppose I shouldn't complain too much. I'm not sorry I watched it, but I doubt I'll ever watch it again, and unless you are a huge fan of SJP, Helen Hunt, Shannen Doherty or eighties fashion and dance, I'm not really sure I would recommend anyone else bothers.
Running time: 90 minutes