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Teen Movie Critic

Saturday Night Fever


Roger Davidson

Saturday Night Fever
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The film that helped make John Travolta a household name and introduced the dance craze known as Disco, this is a lot more than most people make it out to be. But I'll get to that in a minute. First the plot: Travolta portrays young Tony Manero, a Brooklyn youth who feels like his life is going nowhere fast. He finds refuge from the rat race at the Disco 2001 club, where he dances the night away and is the king of Saturday night. But for the other six days of the week, he has to deal with the stress at both the workplace and the homefront. In addition, he's going through the first stages of angst-ridden young love, when he meets the attractive Stephanie (Karen Goren), who might also be a way out from his depressing Brooklyn life.

When most people hear the title of this movie, they simply think "It's just a lame Disco film". Because of the pulsating music from the Bee Gees, people tend to forget that that's only part of the story. Director John Badham shows a film that has more in common with Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets than with movie musicals of the past. It's a thoughtful look at Brooklyn life and it offers a tragically realistic performance from Travolta, who gives one of the best debuts in screen history. There is an excellent climatic dance contest, that would be thrown away by today's audiences as too predictable, if I left the description at that. The reason it's so good is that Travolta, at this climatic point in the film, doesn't give a crap about winning. In fact, he never felt he was good enough to win in the first place. He doesn't care, because it doesn't change his sad existence in Brooklyn one bit. That's what makes the scene different from other scenes of its type, a sc ene (as I said before) that would be predictable in someone else's hands. So when and if you ever see this, don't keep thinking, "Disco sucks". Instead think that you might actually have an interestingly good time with this film experience.

My Rating = Four Stars

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