We know girls just want to have fun! The big question for this 80s classic is do we have as much fun watching it as the girls onscreen are clearly having? Girls Just Want to Have Fun was a career starter for several notable young actors including Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Hunt, and a very young Shannon Doherty. It’s one of those 1980’s teenage dance flicks with young love and a stuck up rich girl for the villain. No there is absolutely nothing here to surprise anyone and it’s pretty cheesy, but there’s a certain likability and fun factor to most of it.
To be completely honest, the only reason this film is watchable and entertaining most of the time is because of the cast. Sarah Jessica Parker is such a charming lead and makes the best out of what she’s given. Side note: it was so weird seeing Carrie Bradshaw as a baby! Helen Hunt is also so very charming as Parker’s best friend. Hunt has this dry cheeky sense of humor that steals just about every scene she’s in, which is a help to the film. Lee Montgomery is so helplessly lovable as the male love interest. Yes, it’s a pretty stereotypical role but you can’t help but love him! He’s sexy and we get to see him shirtless which is nice but it’s not just that. He has this laid back endearing personality that makes him attractive and likable as a character. With a role like that you can’t just have a blandly hunky guy with no charisma or feeling. He has to make us feel loved and cared for.
Montgomery and Parker as a dancing team and as love interests works so well. They have a charming chemistry and it’s pretty hard not to like young love like this; it’s so pure and exciting. The writing is lesser than other 80s classics and doesn’t create enough of an atmosphere for this film to be remembered as one of the “iconic” teen movies. I felt we needed more than what we given, more scenes of Parker and Montgomery alone together perhaps. I think them as a couple is the film’s strongest asset so I would’ve liked to see more of them forming a relationship, having conversations, maybe even a short but memorable love scene.
The film is very short with a runtime of only an hour and twenty seven minutes, there was plenty of time for some more development and it would have been welcomed. The ending is kind of a let down too, for a 1980’s dance film. I was expecting more a grand finale. It ends pretty abruptly and it could’ve been more memorable.
The attempts at humor is another issue as none of it really lands. Most of the attempts are slapstick or physical in nature and that’s a bad sign because that type of humor is less likely to be effective and more likely to come off as somewhat lazy. While I understand comedy isn’t this film’s number one priority, when it tries it would’ve been nice to have something other than lame physical stuff. The dancing scenes are relatively fun, especially Parker’s flips. Those scenes aren’t as fun as something like Footloose (which Parker was in the year before) but they provide some amusement.
Girls Just Want To Have Fun has it’s fun and is helped out immensely by the cast. Parker, Hunt, and Montgomery make this film worth at least one watch. The film does suffer from some lackluster writing, flat comedy, and an uneventful ending. I also would have loved some more scenes between Parker and Montgomery.
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