Several young stars made breakthrough performances in the 1985 teen movie Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Seemingly made to cash in on the popularity of MTV and music videos with a ripoff version of the Cyndi Lauper title song, this fun and frivolous movie contains the total package of preteen girl wish fulfillment. Though it seems like a strange casting decision in retrospect, Sarah Jessica Parker is the good girl and Helen Hunt is her uninhibited and helpful friend. Both give decent performances that are totally appropriate to the laughable lines they deliver, although Hunt does get to do the famous scene where she makes a blow torch out of a lighter and aerosol can of hair spray. Parker and Montgomery enjoy a silly romance and the logistics of the dance contest drop to hilarious levels. Destined for TV stardom, Shannen Doherty brings her bratty energy to the role of the little girl who just wants to be grown up, while comic relief Jonathan Silverman adds just enough perverted quirks to make this tame story into a real teen movie. The whole thing is just an excuse for endless dance sequences to the tune of generic pop-rock to dance along with, most likely on home video during sleepovers. Upon release it was instant gratification for the most base forms of girly desires, and it remains solidly entertaining as nostalgia for the fashion, music, and strangely absurd values of the '80s.
by Andrea LeVasseur review