DVD Review, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”
The styles and attitudes of the mid-‘80s simply overtake some comedies of that era, and if it weren’t for the fact the two young leads in “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” became A-list talent, this teen-dream farce would be little more than a day-glo time capsule. Instead, “Girls” presages the stardom that awaited Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt — it would just take them another decade to get there. And with “Sex and the City” coming out, much of Parker’s early output is getting a fresh look — both her early ’80s series “Square Pegs” and “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” are getting new DVD treatments.
Parker plays Janey, the insecure new girl at school with a strict military father and a consuming desire to be on “Dance TV,” a stand-in for a certain music video channel. Lynne (Hunt) is the outgoing rocker chick who gives Parker newfound confidence, a shot winning over school jock Jeff Malene (Lee Montgomery) and being on the network. It’s standard innocent fare for the period, suffused with big hair, bright colors and the kind of exaggerated new wave styles that only really existed in movies.
In “Girls,” Parker emerged as a charismatic screen beauty after years of wallflower characters, and Hunt came across as just a much younger version of her later, Oscar-winning self, full of snark and confidence. And like a lot of “teensploitation” of the period, “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” culminates in a dance contest, because nothing conveys true love like spandex, headbands, and the puny throb of tinny synthesizers.
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