Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Desperately Seeking Susan" is on Netflix Streaming..

It's hard for me to believe that this movie, which launched Madonna's short-lived career as an actress is now over 25 years old. Madonna plays the title character, a free spirit who becomes a fixation for New Jersey housewife Roberta (Roseanna Arquette). Roberta is bored with her life in Fort Lee: she walks out of her party in the middle of her husband Gary (Mark Blum) debuting his latest hot-tub commercial so stare longingly across the Hudson at the spires of New York City.

Having noted a personal ad in a local tabloid that Susan's boyfriend has arranged a meeting with her (we're told this is how they communicate in the days before e-mail) at Battery Park, Susan shows up to do a little stalking. What neither Susan nor Roberta know is that the earrings Susan pinched from the random guy she bedded at a New Jersey hotel are stolen, priceless, and wanted very badly by a very bad man (Will Patton) who is willing to kill to get them. A blow to Roberta's head ensures that Susan and Roberta's lives intertwine as both the killer and a handsome movie projectionist (Aidan Quinn) mistake amnesiac Roberta for Susan while Roberta's husband and sister (Laurie Metcalf) enlist Susan to help find the missing woman, who the police suspect of being an on-the-run hooker.

It's a fun movie that glosses over some of the gamier aspects of the story. Susan is a charming amoral thief who uses and discards men. Gary is having an affair behind Roberta's back and seems more concerned at how Roberta's disappearance will affect his status than for her welfare. But it's fun to see a flashback to the NYC of the 80's of my yoof. St. Marks Place, the East Village, Danceteria, even the scaffolding around the Statue of Liberty during it's renovation are showcased. The fashions were believe it or not fresh at the time; this is the Madonna that launched the craze for cropped tops and gloves and wearing tons of rubber bracelets.

I didn't even know this, but there was a short-lived musical version that played London's West End that closed in record time and lost £3.5 million. A YouTube news clip about the fiasco is below,

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