Movie: Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Release Date: April 12, 1985
Director: Alan Metter
Starring: Sarah Jessica Parker, Lee Montgomery, Morgan Woodward, Jonathan Silverman, Helen Hunt, Shannen Doherty.
Tag Lines: “Getting into trouble is easy but getting out of it is all the fun!”
“That’s all they really want!”
“Life will be serious soon enough. But for now…”
Relevance: As soon as I heard Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” in 1983, I was sold. I danced to the song right through 1984 when it reached number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and it became one of my favorite videos for me to watch on MTV. Her album, “She’s So Unusual” was one of my favorites that year and from that time on, I was a mega fan. (I still am to this day.) So when I saw a movie on HBO sometime in 1985 called ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun,’ I became very intrigued. Little did I know that the movie would become one of my favorite films of all time.
Besides the song, Cyndi Lauper had nothing to do with the film. In fact, the versions of that song used in the film aren’t even hers. But that didn’t matter, because once I saw the movie, I had much, much more to become obsessed with.
The movie is your typical 1980’s high school teen comedy, but it had so much energy to it, that I got sucked right in to it. The story of auditioning for a TV dance show fulfilled a fantasy I used to have about being on “American Bandstand” and “Solid Gold.” I never took dance classes when I was young, but I always wanted to. What stopped me was my fear of being bullied and made fun of for doing so. However, that fear didn’t stop me from dancing. I loved to dance. Watching the dance sequences in the film made me so happy and even more eager to bust-a-move next to Dick Clark or Marilyn McCoo,
I also fell in love with the cast. I knew a little about Sarah Jessica Parker from the TV show “Square Pegs” that I used to watch in the early 1980’s. She was quirky and nerdy in that show, but I also knew her from ‘Footloose,’ where she was a little bit more carefree and fun. This was the first time that I ever saw her as a “lead” in a movie and I absolutely adored her. She was super cute, funny and dare I say, sexy. I think it may have been that Catholic school girl’s outfit she wore. Whatever it was, I was hooked.
I also knew Jonathan Silverman a little bit from “Gimme A Break,” where he played a minor role. I loved him on that show and thought he was hysterical in this movie as well. Although I was not familiar with Helen Hunt and Shannen Doherty at the time, they definitely stood out in the cast, especially Ms. Hunt. She was by far my favorite character and actress in the movie.
Sure the movie was cheesy as cheesy can get, but I didn’t care one bit. And I wasn’t the only one who didn’t care. Both my mom and my sister became fans of the film and would watch it any chance they could get when it was on HBO. I can still hear my mom laughing at both Helen Hunt and Jonathan Silverman every time they were on the screen. When Ms. Hunt would break out with “Day-O” in the middle of “Angels We Have Heard on High.” my mom was guaranteed to to at least chuckle. So was I.
Although ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ was both a flop at the box office and with critics, it was not in our house. We loved it. I actually own the film on DVD and have watched it numerous times throughout the years. It may have been Cyndi Lauper to guide me to the film, but it remained a part of my life on its own merits.
Today’s Thoughts: Really the only thing missing from this movie is Cyndi Lauper’s version of the song. That would make ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ pure 1980’s perfection. If I had leg warmers I would have warn them today while watching this classic (at least to me) today. Regardless, I was super stoked to be re-watching a movie that always invokes smiles and laughter.
It remains as cheesy as ever and that just makes me love it more and more. It’s fun and witty and the young talented ensemble is as adorable as ever. Who knew when I started this project that I would have a Shannen Doherty double feature? (Check out yesterday’s film 197. Heathers.) She was cute as a button in the film as was Jonathan Silverman. SJP and Helen Hunt have great goofy chemistry together. Ms. Hunt really does steal the movie though. The character is kooky and she plays her to sheer perfection. Probably something I did not notice when I watched it as a teenager was how hot Lee Montgomery was in the movie. (I really was that far back in the closet.) I mean, that hairy chest alone while playing basketball in one of the first scenes is worth a second (or third) look. Hubba hubba.
There really is nothing more to say about it. ‘Girls Just Want to Have Fun’ is a great 1980’s teen comedy worth the rental or stream on any day of the week. If you are a fan of that decade, as I most certainly am, it will brighten your day “totally, for sure.”
Ways to Watch: Amazon Prime, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, DVD Availability.