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|Index||55 reviews in total|
Bubbly farce about a dull housewife (beautiful Arquette) who gets bumped on the head and wakes up believing herself to be a free spirited lady named Susan (Madonna). Vividly enchanting at points, this is a well made film with great support from Quinn, Blum and Patton.
The movie's plot was okay. It was basically to show off Madonna. She is not a bad actor really but just needs a little work. The movie itself was not really great. It had some funny moments but nothing really worth mentioning. If you want to see it then see it b/c you like Madonna. It's about the only real reason to.
As a Madonna fan the best things in the movie were to see Madonna and to hear her music. You also got a good look at the style and life of the 80´s. The movie itself including Madonna´s role was quite boring. The plot was so simple that it did not wake any interest in me.
Madonna's first real cinematic break came with this little film of mistaken identity and hilarious situations. Rosanna Arquette stars as a bored housewife who keeps track of Susan (Madonna) through personal ads in the newspaper. She becomes somewhat obsessed and decides to meet Madonna herself and actually buys Madonna's coat. Arquette looks at Madonna as a hero and tries to copy all her moves to make her life better. Naturally Madonna is wanted by the mob, but they find Arquette instead and believe that she is the girl they want. A clever little story raises this film to a fair level, but still the movie plays more like a music video or a Bugs Bunny cartoon rather than a real motion picture. Another pure product of the 1980s that tried to dazzle with its music and its good-looking cast. They were only somewhat successful here. 2.5 out of 5 stars.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I generally do not like movies with Madonna, but this movie seems to
portray her in her natural self. She is basically a slut who will jump
in bed with anybody. Unfortunately she (Susan) gets involved with a man
who is later thrown out of a window in Atlantic City. While this is
happening, Ruberta (Rosanna Arquett) is following a series of personal
adds from a guy named Jim to Susan. She basically wants some excitement
in her life so she decides to find out who this person is. She goes to
the meeting place and follows Susan to find her jacket in a shop. She
buys the jacket and finds a locker key in it. When she goes to return
it she is hassled by one of the crooks and knocks herself unconscious.
When she wakes up, she has amnesia and with Susan's possessions on her,
she thinks that she is actually her.
I really did not think much of this movie and thus did not see much in it. I do not particularly like movies such as this which go into a portrayal of a seedy underclass in America. The underclass exists, but this movie portrays it in a good light, which is what I do not like. Susan is a part of this underclass: very self serving and doing her own thing without worrying about the effects that it will have on other people. She uses men for her own pleasures and does not care about them when she leaves them. She will walk out with no reason simply to pursue her own desires.
This also looks at the upper class of society, but portrays it as a boring life. Ruberta wants excitement, and it is something that she does not get at home. As such she follows Jim and Susan's adds in the paper. Her husband, Gary, is a spa salesman, but not only is he naive, does not really care about his wife. As such she walks out. He thinks he knows her, but he does not because if he did he would see the frustration that is in her life. Like Susan, Gary is a very self centered person. He is having an affair, after four years of marriage, and really only cares about his own life. He does not listen to Ruberta's concerns and what is frustrating her. Thus she walks away because he simply refuses to see her. He tries to conform Ruberta into his idea of what a person is supposed to be like, but does not give her the freedom to express herself.
It is interesting that when Susan comes to him, she walks right over him. She takes his car, stays in his house, and uses his wife's clothes. Thus not only do we see an upperclass business man, we also see a guy that is easily trodden over. He is walked all over, and thus he does the same with his wife. He is insecure because he cannot control the people around him, which is strange because he is a salesman. Even his add, when the girls pull him into the spa-bath, show us that he does not resist woman. Thus it seems that the progenitor of the affair is not him, but the woman. He probably did not resist though so we can't sympathise with him. Actually, the movie does not let us sympathise with him, and in the end he is left without a wife, who could have served him if he had done the same for her.
Roberta is bored and spends her time scanning the personal ads
dreaming. When sees spots an ad saying "desperately seeking Susan" with
a place and time she heads off to try and spot the people involved. She
sees Susan meeting Jim and is taken by how free and fun she appears
taking the opportunity to buy her jacket for herself, only to find a
key in it later. To return the key she places her own ad which Susan,
Jim and several others take note of. Turning up in her new jacket,
Roberta meets Jim's friend Dez who mistakes her for Susan shortly
before she gets knocked unconscious. He looks after her unaware that
Susan is being sought after by several different people for different
reasons and that they are now incorrectly chasing Roberta.
A very eighties affair, this film is not as good as its reputation would suggest it is. The plot is far too convoluted and forced to really engage or to keep things light and fun and instead it gets bogged down in ideas, characters and plot threads. It has a bit of energy to it that has somewhat of a screwball air to it but with such a heavy plot it is hard for it to do much with it. It also feels very 1980's, not a bad thing in itself but it does mean that it hasn't dated well visually while Seidelman's direction is fairly ordinary and doesn't add much to it in terms of style.
The cast is fairly mixed but relies a bit too heavily on the star power of Madonna at the time. She actually plays second fiddle to the lead character played by Arquette, who is a bit vapid but does alright with the mixed identity chestnut. Madonna is pretty at ease in her character; she has no depth but that is not her fault and it is not really a problem in terms of the requirements of this film. Quinn is an appealing male lead; not a great deal for him to do dramatically but he works quite well with Arquette. The support cast is a really surprising mix as it contains plenty of well known faces in roles of all sizes; it is strange to see Metcalf, Joy, Patton, Wright, Turturro, Esposito, Hell and Argo all scattered over the film as if they were nobodies! Overall this is an OK film at best. It tries to create a real fun air but the convoluted plot makes it hard work to really get into it. The cast are interesting and the star power of Madonna must have helped at the time (and still I suppose) but mostly this doesn't really work and should probably be best watched as a bit of 1980's nostalgia.
The thing to see in Desperately Seeking Susan (a film I watched all the
way through, for some reason or other, in the wee hours of morning) is
the style of its time, the music, and Madonna. While she may have been
lesser known when she was shooting this, by the time it was released it
showed itself in its colors as just slightly more than a predictable
vehicle. The cast that's set up (Rosanna Arquette, Aidan Quinn, Laurie
Metcalf, Steven Wright) do what they can, and they show how they would
go on to bigger and brighter roles and careers.
But there's just something about the script that kept on bugging me. Perhaps it's the device of amnesia- on top of the dopey, cute-to-the-girls guy (Quinn) that bugged me, or the way that situations just seemed to skim around truth in the plot. Then again, it is a suburbs vs. city fable dealing with personal ads, missing earrings, and a Magic Club. As a chick flick fantasy of the times it does work, but there's not a whole lot for the rest of the audience.
Or, perhaps, this just wasn't my kind of movie, despite liking the actors, and being intrigued by the time-capsule nature of the lower-east side and attitude of NYC. Although, Madonna was rather appealing in parts, if not as a whole performance (and definitely appealing compared to now, nineteen years later, as she goes through a "kaballah" phase).
If you absolutely positively gotta see every movie ever made, substitute this one for another 80s comedy/romance! Otherwise, rent this and address your curiosity just like I did! The overwhelming 80s stereotypes come into full play with Madonna's bad girl image and typical 80s score. It's like going through an unpleasant time warp, and realising what used to be cool, just ain't cool anymore! Good thing, I was never a fan of this film and that this was my first viewing in the year 2002, otherwise I'd be sorely disappointed and dismayed that I used to like this movie. Unlike, 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' which manages to still remain funny and decent, 'Desperately Seeking Susan' is too reliant on Madonna's celebrity status and her 80s image. I can't stress 80s enough, but the film oozes it. Rather than producing a cohesive, funny and romantic comedy, this is a Madonna film, based on her image back then and it doesn't really have much to offer in this day and age. Don't get me wrong, I think Madonna's music was okay back then, and even now- but this film seems so cliché and atypical of that period. It's too self-aware, and the scene when the hit song of the moment comes on "Get into the Groove", just didn't work. It felt like a camera filming a fake party. It really came across unnatural. Aiden Quinn was okay as the lover interest, and Rosanna Arquette did an okay job as the goofy but likable lead. All in all, the film isn't that great, and personally, I was desperately seeking the remote control into the latter half of this film. A low ** ½ out *****!
Desperately Seeking Susan is a good 80's comedies. Madonna and Rosanna Arquette both star in here. Now, considering Madonna is such a bad actress and most of her movies are terrible, this is one of her better ones. The best performance definitely comes from Rosanna Arquette though, who is a very good actress.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Dreadful 'fantasy' movie about a bored housewife who dreams of having a
life as bold, risky and adventurous as "Susan", of whom she reads daily
in the personal columns.
Whatever our director had in mind, and whatever she tries to do, just doesn't work in this unfunny comedy/drama. None of the humour is effective, and Susan Seidelman cannot create tension or any other intense emotion with the lame plot and contrived situations. The 'fish out of water' theme doesn't really hold either, as Roberta was never any good in her own environ anyway.
Nobody in the cast, including Rosanna Arquette, Aidan Quinn, Mark Blum, Will Patton and débutante Madonna, can do a thing with material this far beyond saving. One cameo of note though, from now highly regarded actor John Turturro.
As I've mentioned, ridiculous plot wouldn't hold water any better than paper bag, and sure won't manage to hold your attention. It's as drab as anything I have ever seen.
Even Madonna's catchy "Into the Groove" isn't worth the wait, and the outfits Miss Cicconi wears....well, it was the 80's!?!?
Saturday, November 4, 1995 - Video
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