Dewey-eyed nostalgic memories can often cloud rational judgement when it comes to 80s teen comedies. And it's hard to class "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" as a particularly good movie, but stars Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt add enough enthusiasm to turn this minor film into an enjoyable distraction.
The plot follows the seeming aspiration of every 80s teenager: to dance their way to success. Sarah Jessica Parker is a shy kid who joins a new school run by strict nuns. It's the ideal environment for her character to rebel as she hooks up with the sassy Helen Hunt to enter a dance competition on TV.
Troubles loom as Parker has to deal with both her strict father and the fact that the competition is rigged. But we all know that once the beat of the drum machine starts and the spirit of dance takes over that success is inevitable.
It's a popular formula but this film is poor in exploiting it. The nuns have little to do other than look stupid, and Parker's father comes across as a moron with few redeeming qualities. Added to that, the plot obstacles that Parker needs to overcome are too flimsy to generate any excitement or tension.
What this film lacks in good structure it makes up for with a fast pace and plenty of song-and-dance routines to distract you from the paucity of fresh ideas. And despite the indifferent material, both Parker and Hunt communicate enough lively fun to energise this otherwise unremarkable slice of 80s comedy.