It's Friday and everyone is going to the hot new disco. The Commodores are scheduled to play if Floyd shows up with the instruments and Nicole dreams of becoming a disco star. Other characters are there to win the dance contest, or to put a little excitement into a fifth anniversary.Written by
Tony Fontana <email@example.com>
THANK GOD IT'S Friday was released just as the disco craze crested, when anything and everything might happen during a night on the town, when sex was casual, and drink and drugs were still regarded in a lighthearted manner, and music wailed and blared with the likes of Gloria Gaynor and K.C. & the Sunshine Band. Within a few years Disco would be publicly declared dead--but it still lives on in the recordings... and in Donna Summer's screen image of the Disco Diva, shimmering in the spotlight beneath the mirror ball with a hibiscus tucked into her hair as she belts out her megaton hit, "Last Dance."
TGIF is best regarded as a cultural artifact, an attempt to show everything that was shiny about the Disco world without any reference to its down sides of sexually transmitted diseases, next-morning-hangovers, and serious drug addictions. The story is slight: a disco is hosting a big dance contest, and every one arrives at the door with personal ambitions. There is, of course, the singer who hopes to hit it big; two underage teen girls hot to be Disco Queens; a sweet young thing who hates polyester and is looking for Mr. Right in the wrong place; and a ladykiller looking to score his next victim. The film is most memorable for the look of the disco, which is the real star of the film, and the cast, which includes several performers on their way up: Jeff Goldblum as the lady killer; Deborah Winger as the anti-polyester good girl; and of all people a very, very young Terri Nunn, who would later score big as the front singer for the band Berlin.
There are all the usual running gags, and as a whole the film is only mildly entertaining. But then Donna Summer steps into the spotlight--and for a few moments everything that was magic about Disco lives and breathes again. For what it is--an incredibly light, mindless bit of tinsel--the film is well done, but it has an extremely limited appeal for a contemporary audience. Unless you were actually part of the disco scene and want to revisit old memories, you're better off catching it on the late-late show. But my oh my... wasn't Donna Summer something special!
Gary F. Taylor, aka GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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