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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
Desperately Seeking Susan is an allright comedy. It is not really funny. The
film has a good plot and premise and overall a good script. The acting is
good. However this film is in some ways just so boring. Hardly anything
happens and some scenes are so useless. It is sometimes stupid and hard to
undestand and not very realistic at some point. Desperately Seeking Susan
has always been looked at as a comedy and though it hardly belongs in any
other category I am going to create my own. Comedies that don´t have any
jokes. This film is about a bored housewife named
Roberta who is obsessed with Susan. Susan is a twenty something girl who has travelled around America in search for something. Her boyfriend who is a punker writes in papers that he is trying to find her and Susan writes back to him that she is coming to see him soon. One day Roberta sees in the paper that they are going to meet somewhere on the coast of New York and she decides to stalk them. She sees them and follows Susan around. Susan sells her jacket to buy some shoes at antic clothes store and Roberta buys the jacket. She does not know that some gangsters are after Susan and Roberta dresses up as Susan to meet with her because she found a key in the pocket that Susan really needs. Susan gets arrested before she could meet Roberta and a man that is after Susan accidently thinks Roberta is her. He attacks her and is trying to get some earing that is worth millions. He is spotted and runs away and Roberta falls down unconsius. Suddenly another man who thinks Roberta is Susan tells her that he is a friend of her boyfriends and tells her that she can stay at his place. He has never met Susan and Roberta has lost all memory and doesn´t know a thing about what had happened or who she is. She still has the key and I am not going to say more you need to see it.
The two actresses Madonna and Rosanna Arquette are both good. Unlike other Madonna films. Desperately Seeking Susan was a hit at the box-office and Critics also liked it. Film critics also liked Madonna in the film and the film has become one of Madonna´s most successful movie of her film career.
overall grade 6/10.
Some good performances and several fun moments were not enough for me to recommend this so-so comedy. Once the setup is in place, it's basically a series of predictable events that are occasionally funny, but eventually they get pretty tiresome. The ending was cute, but it was also obvious, and not nearly good enough to compensate for the slow spots that occurred leading up to the finish.
This is about the worst movie I have ever seen, the story is awful, and
Madonna?? Totally without talent!
It is about the worst story, with no meaning, it is really thin!
The cast is about as awful as the story, Madonna has grown a lot since this movie and she must look back at this role to be the worst in her entire life!!
Don't see it! Unless you have nothing to do, choose cleaning your toenails instead!
This movie was definitely a promotional vehicle for Madonna. Madonna mania was sweeping the country like crazy when this movie came out. It was also, in my opinion, her best look out of all her fashion transformations thru the coming years. Rosanna Arquette was supposed to be the female star of the film but Madonna definitely stole the show. My only, and biggest, regret about this movie was that it had too much early 1980's influence which kept it from becoming a timeless classic, (too much punk rock like scenery). I'll never forget the scene in the movie when Madonna was in the bus depot restroom wearing a skimpy bra drying her under arms, her body was PERFECT. It gave the world a chance to see Madonna with her pre-2% body fat. That scene was the most flesh that had been exposed of Madonna, at that time, you can barely see her nipples poking thru her bra. Also, a very memorable scene from the movie is when Madonna and Mark Blum are in a disco and Madonna is sipping her "triple tequila sunrise" and gyrating her body against the jukebox to the sound of her own song, "Into The Groove". Unfortunately, this was the only memorable movie that Madonna appeared in, the rest of her movie career bombed at the box office.
This film is not so bad, it is starring Madonna in her "Like a Virgin" days,
back then when she was much more fresh and young. When her breast was
perfect and she was so sexual that even a blind guy wanted to have sex with
her. She will always be one of the best. Rosanna Arquette, is none other
than a no talented and stupid actress who don't know nothing about
entertaining. The movie include some nice songs, Into the groove many
others. Another good Madonna performance. Here is the story thanks to Jeremy
Taken-for-granted housewife Roberta passes the time following the progress of Susan who regularly contacts her boyfriend Jim through the Personals. When she sees the two are meeting in New York Roberta goes along, ending up buying Susan's coat. Finding a locker key in the pocket she in turn advertises for a meeting with Susan. Jim sends his projectionist pal along to see what is going on, and when Roberta knocks herself out he assumes she is Susan. Then things start to get complicated.
Some nice Madonna's breast, legs and buttom scene make this film a must in any collection.
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