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DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN

DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN

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DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN

  • Directed by Susan Seidelman
  • Starring Rosanna Arquette, Madonna, Aidan Quinn
  • a MOVIE JAM event
  • 1985 | 100mins | USA | rated (15)

One of the great New York moves and one of the great 80s movies – Desperately Seeking Susan (1985) is Susan (Smithereens) Seidelman’s second feature; the young director following her funny, punky debut with a sophomore smash and retaining her idiosyncrasies despite the move to the mainstream. The result is a delightful Day-Glo farce in which two very different women – bored suburban princess and new wave goddess/petty thief – become entangled in each other’s lives via a series of coincidences involving Queen Nefertiti’s stolen diamonds.


This is a funny and engaging romp whose real jewels are the films two dazzling stars; then-rising ingénue Rosanna Arquette (Roberta) and the supernova sensation that was/is Madonna (Susan)– carrying off her first major theatrical role with effortless élan.


The chaps here are mostly disposable dweebs and cartoonish thieves – second fiddle to our luminous heroines; who recognise in each other a kindred adventurous spirit that transports them away from (in Roberta’s case) an airless existence of suburban ennui, and (for Susan), the nefarious attentions of various dubious suitors. This is a giddy romp with looks (courtesy of set designer Santo Loquasto and cinematographer Ed Lachman) and sounds (guess who) to die for. In addition, the huge ensemble – including the imperious Laurie Metcalf – slays.  So get into the groove and join Movie Jam for our third screening – a feel-good hit for this (or any) summer.