Thursday, May 21, 2009

Satisfaction (1988): 1.7/10

Satisfaction (1988)
Grade: 1.7

Oh boy..where do I begin? One of my biggest weaknesses when it comes to watching films is the concept of the girl group dynamic. Any movie featuring a group of girls whether it be good (Little Women) or something I grew up on (Now and Then, The Babysitters Club) or something bad (this film) is something I am always entertained by. So when a shitty movie like this comes along I am always going to be entertained by a film featuring a group of girls. This film depicts a group of four girls and one guy and their rock band as they spend a summer playing at a beach resort.
This movie was a total flop when it came out. It is not supposed to be good. At all. And its’ not. Each of the four girls is entertaining. Justine Bateman plays the main girl of the film, Jennie Lee who is, well, I have no idea what her characters traits are. She’s kind of tough? She is brave? I have no idea. She falls in love with the man who hired them to play at the resort who is older, played by Liam Neeson (yes, that Liam Neeson). They sort of form a relationship? It is never clear. He might love her? Or he does not? Or something? It seriously is never clear how devoted to each other the other one is especially Neeson. In fact their last conversation in the film which is supposed to be the scene that makes it clear how Neeson felt about her, ends up being extremely confusing. Then we have Trini Alvarado who I adore as Mooch, the tough one of the group. She gets into fights with gangsters and steals their vans? She gets into a relationship with the bands keyboard player, Nicky. They look at each other a few times during the film, Jennie Lee asks Mooch about it at one point and she denies it and then Nicky and Mooch have a conversation; they kiss and are together the rest of the film. It actually is quite cute and it is only cute because of the actors. The script gives their relationship and more importantly the build up to it absolutely no development whatsoever. Then we have Billy played by the gorgeous and awesome Britta Philips, later of the band Dean and Britta. She is really laid back and likes to pop pills? She smokes pot? She becomes attached to Neeson’s dog? There is one scene where she OD’s, they intervene and yell at her about it afterwards for literally 20 seconds and the issue is never brought up again. Then there is Daryle played by Julia Roberts on the brink of stardom at this point. She likes boys? She is engaged? She….I have no idea. Seriously no idea what her character was about. She was adamant about marrying Frankie then literally within the same conversation she nonchalantly decides not to and the issue is not brought up again.

These scenes that convey this almost nonexistent level of development are joined by scenes of the girls playing their songs for the bar that they work at. Their band really sucks and the only entertaining parts of these scenes are watching Britta. Then we have a random Debbie Harry cameo in which she has two lines as…Neeson’s sometimes lover? It is so unclear. Of course there is the lovely scene when the gang comes back to get Mooch and Billy for stealing their van which ends in… anticlimactic arrest of the gang members? Liam Neeson’s character drinks a lot for whatever reason. Bateman runs in the sand and screams “You’re lying!!!!! Wahehw.kfhedfkdfh!!!!” which was brilliant. Billy talks to the dog on the sand. Daryle has sex in the van with Frankie for a day? I seriously have no idea what happened in this movie. I was entertained certainly but the lack of a coherent story, absolute minimal to nonexistent development and just all around absence of any sort of focus or basis make this movie a bomb. However the performances of the actresses and Neeson, while neither particularly good nor bad, carry a presence and a chemistry to them which makes the film at least semi fun to watch.

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