A Hard Days Beatle Hunting
It's 1964 and with The Beatles about to make their debut appearance on the Ed Sullivan show Beatlemania is sweeping the country. One person who is swept up in the fervour is Rosie (Wendie Jo Sperber - Bachelor Party) who goes into hysterics over just about anything to do with her idols. When her journalist friend Grace (Theresa Saldana) comes up with an idea to sneak into The Beatles hotel they drag soon to be married friend Pam (Nancy Allen - Carrie), anti Beatle country loving Janis (Susan Kendall Newman) along for the ride after persuading Larry (Marc McClure - Freaky Friday) to steal one of his father's limos from the funeral parlour. Along the way they also pick up Tony (Bobby Di Cicco) who can't stand The Beatles either but is up for some fun.
For those whose love of movies goes deeper than just entertainment it is worth knowing that "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" was the debut movie of director Robert Zemeckis and writer Bob Gale. And for those who like the movies of Zemeckis and Gale will delight in that even in their first movie there style is very apparent. From the nostalgic feel which they exploited so brilliantly in the "Back to the Future" movies to the comical adventure style it is all there as well as some familiar faces and all a lot of fun.
In fact "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" is a lot of fun from start to finish with one great scene after another. The opening scene of Beatlemania causing hysteria in a record shop are simply perfect from the records going like hot cakes to the nodding dolls of the Fab Four presiding over other Beatle memorabilia. But then every few minutes there is another funny scene be it Tony ripping up a Beatles sign to the endeavours of the girls to get into the hotel room and one man ripping up carpet because The Beatles walked on it. I could go on because whilst there is a story about the adventures of these teenagers it is really all about the funny scenes as they end up in and out of trouble in their desperate attempts to meets their idols.
Now there is no denying the collaboration of Zemeckis and Gale is a huge part of why "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" works but it is the talented young actors who sell it. Bobby Di Cicco gives us cliche young Italian American as Tony but from start to finish he is fun as is Eddie Deezen the Ringo obsessed young man ripping up carpet. But whilst I could mention fun performances from Nancy Allen and Mark McClure this movie really belongs to Wendie Jo Sperber who as the super fan Rosie is brilliant with her over excited moments at anything to do with The Beatles.
What is especially good about "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" is in many ways this should be a generational movie which should only appeal to those who experienced Beatlemania during the 60s. But it isn't it is simply a lot of fun from start to finish with over the top misadventures and hysterical characters.
What this all boils down to is that "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" might be over 30 years old and telling a story now 50 years old but it is simply fun from start to finish.