First of all I want to point out I don’t think this picture is really about disco. I mean it gives a different view of the phenomenon, showing it only in the early ’80s when it was taken over by a bunch of yuppies and it tries to explain what it meant to those people. This is not the young and exciting working class disco of Saturday Night Fever. This is at the point when you had to look a certain way to get in. For one of the main characters jimmy the club is his life, but not because he loves to dance. Because he works in advertising and he brings his clients there to impress them. That’s the kind of bullshit scene we’re talking about here.
But even though it makes that point it’s not a disco movie, it’s not one of these movies about dancing and partying and what not. What it is about is a bunch of young rich kids fresh out of college talking endlessly about a bunch of pretentious bullshit about their generation or relationships or which is the best cocktail for their image or what is the true meaning of Lady and the Tramp.
And that probaly sounds pretty fucking awful, but I still liked it. What this is about is characters and although most of these characters are a bunch of fucking pinheads I still enjoyed watching at them and laughing at them. But at the center is this Chloe Sevigny who plays Alice and she is what makes the picture work. I don’t know of another young actress with this kind of soul in her eyes. She doesn’t have to say much but those hypno jewels of hers staring out from under heavy eyelids, I mean this gal has it. She has an unconventional beauty and glamour and I believe an aura is like a radiant glow around the body right? If so she has an aura of intelligence and what not. There are scenes where she is deliberately playing dumb to get laid and it seems so wrong for those eyes, it is funny. Hell man this young lady is a born star give this gal an award please.
Now I wouldn’t have thought this would be a movie I could get involved in, but see it is important to understand how movies work. A good movie can put you in a world you don’t know with people you would never hang out with but make you understand what they’re about, make you care. So I mean no, on the surface a motherfucker such as ol’ Vern does not have a whole lot in common with this Alice, a young Harvard graduate sharing a small poorly designed apartment with two other women while she spends her days as an underling in the publishing world and her nights dating several different pretentious college boneheads and dancing to donna summer or whatever. But a good movie can cut through all the surface an make you recognize the universal. When it comes down to it i DO know this lifestyle. I mean I don’t like to bring this up too often but in the joint there is a dating scene with a LOT of similarities. I mean there are no women, but there are the weaker dudes and they are always trying to hook up, trying to find the one – the one who will be the least cruel to them, will protect them from other jockers etc. That is what most of the characters in this movie are trying to do, hook up, play it safe, settle down. But there are other punks in the joint who would rather take a risk, play the field, not make a commitment and hope maybe they are tough enough to escape relatively unscathed. And that is what the disco scene is all about.
Also I hope I don’t need to mention that i have experienced living situations more awkward than a railroad apartment. And kitchen duty and some of the other jobs are pretty similar to working at a publishing company in my opinion. By the way if there is anyone who would like to publish my memoirs or a collection of my film writing please let me know
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.