If you've always suspected that combining elements from "Times Square" (1980), "Josie and the Pussycats" (2001), and "Summer of '42" (1971) would be an extremely bad idea, look no further than "Satisfaction" for confirmation. Although "Times Square" fans (the film from which "Satisfaction" steals the most) will frequently cringe during the viewing experience, the fusion of these three films is not a totally bad idea.
It did give Trini Alvarado, eight years later, a chance to play the tough girl Nicky Marotta part, the character she played against in "Times Square". Although she plays her less like Robin Johnson did and more like Tara Reid's Cybil in "Girl" (1998). An underrated actress, Alvarado carries too much baggage (nice girl type-casting and too sweet a face) into this role to even begin to sell it. A much better idea that might have saved the film would have been for her and co-star Justin Bateman to switch parts. Bateman is capable of looking mean and is really too limited as an actress for a part with the degree of dimensionality of Jennie Lee.
I've never quite grasped the popularity of Julia Roberts but for her mega-fans "Satisfaction" is a must see. The script doesn't give her much to work with but it is an opportunity to see her when she was this young. Of course there is some retrospective perverse amusement to be had at the idea of Roberts and Liam Neeson playing second banana's to the talent challenged Bateman,
Britta Phillips' career rocketed forward from this film with 65 episodes as the voice of the title character in "Jem and the Holograms". Nice voice, excellent casting choice, and a cute performance; she and Chris Nash at least manage to give a fair amount of authenticity to the production.
Director Joan Freeman of Streetwalkin' (1985) fame has never done another feature; after these casting decisions it is not hard to figure out why. Maybe she is just another innocent victim of an Aaron Spelling production, she clearly was not a budding Allan Moyle. Likewise Screenwriter Charles Purpura; although his script is no worse than a lot of stuff currently getting feature treatment and the outdated slang no doubt sounded less lame in 1988.
Although full of terrible music (covers of classic rock tunes performed slightly worse than when arranged for your high school band's halftime show) the film did connect with its primary target audience, discontented teenage girls who were not so disillusioned that they could not still get off on an identification jag with a group of squeaky clean girl rockers. Those looking for a more real "growing up is painful " experience should stick with "Times Square" and the more recent "Pretty Persuasion".
Then again, what do I know? I'm only a child.
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