Friday, January 17, 2014

Thank God It's Friday

Thank God It's Friday ~ This movie is a long forgotten entry from the disco age, barely a footnote today, but when I was a teenager and it premiered, it was huge. For a week or so, before vanishing into the vortex of 'the next big thing.'

Thank God It's Friday was being touted as the next Saturday Night Fever, and it featured Donna Summer singing "Last Dance." The ads made it out to be funny, cool, and it had so much great new music. In other words, the flick had the same hype machine as other masterpieces like Corvette Summer and Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

I was at an age where I couldn't see movies. My friends didn't drive yet, I didn't have my own money, and there was no way my parents would take me. All of the above mentioned films I never saw until they made their way, edited for content, to network television. As badly as I wanted to see this, I had to live vicariously through the music, and the friends whose parents did let them see it. Notably, those friends weren't impressed.

What might have been risqué then with a PG rating is a bit lame now, and rewatching this seems more like an extended episode of "The Love Boat" on land. The movie chronicles several vignettes at a night at an exclusive Los Angeles disco, then called Zoo. It is very reminiscent of Cannonball Run meets It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, set to disco music with less laughs, and stars.

While not really the stars at the time, look for Jeff Goldblum, Debra Winger, as well as Paul Jabara, and of course, Donna Summer, Lionel Ritchie and the Commodores. Valerie Landsburg, Doris from "Fame," figures prominently, and don't miss Otis Day, and the pre-Berlin Terri Nunn. The cast, both major and minor is filled out by character actors and others who have faded into obscurity.

The movie is pretty predictable, and has been called the worst movie to ever win an Academy Award, for best original song (for Summer's "Last Dance"). Worth watching, but don't expect much, even if you have nostalgia for this one.

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