Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Saturday Night Fever

Brooklyn teen Tony Manero works a dead end job at a paint shop and is constantly barraged by his middle class parents for not living up to the standards set by his older cleric brother. On the dance floor of the discotheque on Friday and Saturday nights however, Tony is king where is is fawned on by girls and his entourage of lackeys. Now, with the help of a dance partner undergoing a similar class crisis, Tony sees his shot at elevating himself out of his banal existence. Of all the performances in all the films I've seen, I don't know if I've witnessed a more engaging one than John Travolta's in "Saturday Night Fever". In the film that shot him to superstar status, Travolta is magnetic from the get and draws the viewer in with charms, grace, and yes even acting ability. The rest of John Badham's film is likewise excellent and successfully captures this empty culture longing for meaning. Even the now tired Bee Gees songs work wonderfully within the context of the film. "Saturday Night Fever" is an excellent modern musical, one that paved the way for those to follow, and one that features one of the most endearingly likable performances in memory.