Modern Girls (1986)
Known primarily as a music video director/producer, (he produced the insanely awesome video “Hot for Teacher” by Van Halen), Jerry Kramer tried his hand at a feature length filmmaking in 1986. What he got was Modern Girls, a movie that loosely translates the feel of the poppy musical era to a motion picture. Modern Girls met with mediocre reviews but as time passed, it has come to be an irreplaceable time capsule.
In 1986, when Modern Girls came around, the new wave era was slowly drawing to a close even though it was opening another door for something we now refer to as clubbing. A decade famous for outrageous costume concoctions and airily bright music, the three lead females each embodies part of the musical movement. Margo (Daphne Zuniga) is the darker one. Donned in pre-goth black and with an attitude to match, she proves to be a tough girl to wrangle. CeCe (Cynthia Gibb) is the Cindi Lauper of the group. Her crazy outfits and upbeat outlook keep her happy even when she loses her job at the beginning of the film. The final girl, Kelly (Virginia Madsen) is a lot like pop music, her unassuming beauty wows all those who come into contact with her, yet she continually questions her worth and longevity. Clifford and Bruno X (both played by Clayton Rohner) are the guys who shows up and changes their lives.
Modern Girls is essentially a fairly uncomplicated love story rolled up in neon lights, the LA club life and lots of wonderful music. “No Promises” by Icehouse is a tremendous new wave ballad but it’s Depeche Mode’s beautiful and poetic “But Not Tonight” that sets the tone for a film whose theme is simply to be young and alive. Isn’t that what the 80s was all about?
The soundtrack has been long out of print, but you find the following songs on CD:
- "But Not Tonight” by Depeche Mode is available on Black Celebration
- “Weak in the Presence of Beauty” by Floy Joy is available on an import with the same title.
- “Jealousy” by Club Noveau can be found on Life, Love and Pain
- “No Promises” by Icehouse can be found on an import with the same title.
- “Some Candy Talking” by the Jesus and Mary Chain can be found on 21 Singles