Helen Hunt and Sarah Jessica Parker in Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)

Girls Just Want to Have Cheesy Fun

There are reasons why despite a movie featuring recognizable stars you will have never heard of it, it's because it is terrible. "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" is one of those terrible movies, it has nothing to redeem it and is as tacky as some of those 60s beach party movies. But like my fondness for the cheesy "Roller Boogie" I am sure there will be those who have the same nostalgic fondness for "Girls Just Want to Have Fun".

After having been in and out of one school after another due to her military father, Janey Glenn (Sarah Jessica Parker - Footloose) is happy that they are settling down in Chicago because not only does she become friends with Lynne Stone (Helen Hunt - Then She Found Me) but Chicago is where her favourite show "Dance TV" is recorded. Despite her father categorically refusing to allow her to go to auditions Lynne persuades Janey to go and she impresses enough to make it through to the final round of auditions where she is to partner motorbike riding dance hunk Jeff (Lee Montgomery). But spoilt rich girl Natalie Sands (Holly Gagnier) is jealous, not just that Janey has been partnered up with Jeff but also because Janey is good and so sets about making life as hard as possible. Fortunately Janey has Lynne on her side and is ready to make Natalie's life a misery by ruining her debutant ball.

Lee Montgomery and Shannen Doherty in Girls Just Want to Have Fun (1985)

Where do I start because generally I enjoy 80s movies but "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" is one of the most excruciating 80s movies I have ever seen. Basically the storyline feels like a collection of cliches such as Janey's father being opposed to her dancing, the hunky Jeff is a motorbike riding rebel, his comedy sidekick and one and on. You sit watching this now and you just think that it has copied scenes from other movies, in fairness some of those movies actually came after but it doesn't stop it from feeling derivative.

But to be fair any movie which is about entering a dance competition you kind of expect to be cheesy and in that sense this certainly doesn't disappoint. But it goes far too far and everything about it is too cheesy, even more so when watched now almost 30 years since it was released. Sadly it isn't even entertainingly cheesy and has the feel of a movie written by adults thinking they know what teenagers like.

As for the acting well we have Sarah Jessica Parker playing it bubbly, Lee Montgomery playing it rebel with out a clue and Helen Hunt as a comically quirky friend who looks much older than a student should. Again it feels like these are characters written by adults and built out of stereotypes from other movies. What is worse is that every time there is any sort of complex dancing which requires agility the camera goes to a long shot as the dance doubles take over for the stars.

What this all boils down to is that if you have never heard of "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" there is a reason, it is terrible. It is the sort of movie which if you enjoyed as a teen in the 80s probably holds some form of nostalgic charm but for anyone else it is painfully cheesy.