1h 46min | Drama | 29 February 1980 (USA)
Four best friends, with four different personalities, have issues of their own. Deidre is fascinated by her sexuality and has many boyfriend problems. Madge is unhappily overweight and has overprotective parents. Annie boozes and does drugs, and runs away from her abusive father, a policeman. Jeanie has to take care of them and is fighting with her divorced mother. The only way to loosen up, and forget all the bad things happening in their lives, is to party and have fun. Jeanie is ready to grow up and wants to stop acting like a child. Annie is the worst of them all and Jeanie is worried about her the most. She risks her neck more than once trying to keep Annie clean and free from trouble. But Annie’s unstable behavior and flare ups keeps everyone on edge.
If you weren’t there, then unfortunately this movie will be beyond compassion for you. Which as I say is a shame because although some of the acting is amateurish, it is meant to be for realism. Let’s face it–in real life, we don’t say things in an exacting or perfect way, even when we mean to. In this sense, it works. This, however, does not apply to our “known” actors in this film, notably Jodie Foster (born a natural). The fact that the other 3 girls are not accomplished only adds to the story–Jodie plays the glue that struggles to keep their friendship close, even with the obvious feeling of fatality. Meaning that no matter how close friends are, eventually there are some people that just fade away, no matter how you try.
And therein is the core of the movie. It’s not about partying, it’s not about sexuality, but about these 4 girls and their final time as still young girls before they have to go the world alone.
If you have ever had a friendship like that in your life, you will feel this movie–it will mean a lot to you, no matter what era it is set in, or what era you grew up in. We all knew these girls in school, or at the very least knew of them. We all knew the frustrated virgin, half wanting to hold onto childhood and half wanting desperately to grow up and thinking that will do it for her. We all knew the boy-crazy one, the fashion plate whose vanity hides her fear of the world, her fear of acceptance. We all knew the party girl, the one they whispered about, with tales of not only her sad home life but of her notorious exploits. And we all knew the “mother figure”, the one a little more real, a little more grounded, a little more sad because she knew what would happen. Maybe you were one of those girls. Maybe, like me, you had been each one at one time or another…
This film really captures that fragile time in life when want, needs, pressures, womanhood, childhood, the world and loneliness are all embodied in each female’s head, each factor on the precipice. Which aspect do you hang on to? What do you toss over the edge, no matter how you may want to hold on? And how painful is goodbye to everything you’ve known? That’s what this movie is–steps into womanhood while clinging onto childhood, and how damn tough it is to keep walking. If you were there, you know…and love this film, as I do. Aching and tenderly done. A fine piece of captured femininity.
Director: Adrian Lyne
Writer: Gerald Ayres
Stars: Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie, Marilyn Kagan
Release Date: 29 February 1980 (USA)
Filming Locations: California, USA