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The 100




Modern Girls
(1986)
Reviewed by Jenny LeComte
Rating: 8.5 Beans

odern Girls?! Ha! You've got to be yanking my chain. The facile floozies in this feeble flick are about as contemporary as whalebone corsets, and twice as painful. Let me assure BMN reviewer Lee Rosevere (and any other modern guys who happen to be reading this) that modern girls just don't act like that. No sirree Bob.

Firstly, modern girls have careers. The girls in this film have dead-end jobs which they hate. Margo (Daphne Zuniga) works in tele-sales and can barely contain her boredom. Kelly (Virginia Madsen) works in a pet shop and is too busy batting her eyes at male customers to clean out the animal's cages. Cece (Cynthia Gibb) is so stupid that she can't even hold down a job in a tacky department store. She takes the scissors to some designer dresses, calls them "distressed'' and wonders why her boss gives her the boot. Me? I wonder why he hired her in the first place. She sets my teeth on edge.

Secondly, modern girls stick together. We certainly don't act like Kelly, who took off with Margo's car, went to patch things up with her ex-boyfriend and saddled her flatmates with Clifford (Clayton Rohner), a date she conveniently forgot. Kelly displayed very poor form and appalling taste on this particular occasion. Not only did she land her so-called friends in an embarrassing situation, but her ex-boyfriend Brad (Steven Shellen) is a real loser if ever I saw one. I mean, the guy kept his headphones on while he was kissing her and said "it helps me concentrate". Warning, warning - dickhead at five o'clock high.

Thirdly, when modern girls find themselves in embarrassing situations, they handle themselves with a bit of class and dignity. They don't greet strange men at the door in a negligee and face pack, bawl "Kelly, it's another one'' over their left shoulders and leave the poor guy to his own devices. After establishing that the guy is OK (ie - he's not delivering a summons or trying to sell copies of Watchtower), a modern girl will invite him in, make him a cup of tea and smooth things over. Something along the lines of: "I'm terribly sorry, but Kelly left her brains at the Queensland border and forgot you were coming'' should do nicely.

Fourthly, modern girls are independent. We certainly don't subscribe to Margo's motto ("we don't pay for parking, we never carry cash and we don't buy our own drinks"). Or Cece's ("the best nights are when you don't know who you're coming home with, or who you're going out with"). I beg to differ. The best nights are when you go out with a group of close friends you can trust and come home with them, not some bozo you've just met in a nightclub. As for "we don't carry cash", that's stupid. It places you in the position where you've got to use flirtation to obtain drinks, nightclub entry fees and rides from strange men (sounds suspiciously like prostitution to me). Any girl who ventures out at night without enough money to buy her own drinks and take a taxi home is a flaming idiot in my view.

When modern girls go out at night, we avoid the subterranean depths of sleazy nightclubs like the plague. If we do happen to go to a house of loud music, shallow people and alcoholic beverages, we behave ourselves. They do not - as Cece did - hurl ourselves at dissolute rock stars, particularly if they are called Bruno X (played by the multi-talented Clayton Rohner). Nor do we bore our friends rigid by mooning about said dissolute rock star all night. "My life is over,'' Cece wailed. "I am never going to see Bruno again...I feel like commiting suicide.'' Had I been in the car with her, I would have said: "Go ahead. Make my day.''

As for Kelly's behaviour, well...words fail me. She takes stupefying drugs in pubs and drapes herself over pool tables. She accepts a ride with a strange guy and lets him take her to a deserted place in the middle of nowhere. When the guy tries to have his way with her (big freakin' surprise), she hollers rape. And this brainless bimbo calls herself a modern girl?! Come on. She's a disgrace to the sisterhood.

Margo is the only member of the terrible trio who behaves with any semblence of decorum. She might have the personality of an airsick bag, but at least she stays sober. However, Margo commits a cardinal sin by playing dumb. When Cliff passes a book store, he says: "I'll bet none of you stupid girls have ever been here.'' (Good call, Cliff - I'll pay that one). Margo says: "I was a comparative lit major...but don't tell anyone.'' Why, Margo? Why? Since when was intelligence grounds for social ostracism? Most modern guys I know like smart girls. If you help them fix their computer, discuss politics intelligently or play palindromes with them, they growl with lust.

Which brings me to the last modern girls' commandment. Thou shalt treat modern guys nicely. Cliff is a modern guy, even if he looked like he got dressed in the dark (that cardigan, mate, has got to go!) He treated the girls politely, bailed them out of trouble, bought them drinks, danced with them and drove them all over town. They, on the other hand, treated him like dog turd. There oughta be a medal for Cliff, who managed to get through the whole night without slapping them senseless. There should also be a special award for the poor unfortunates who sat through this abominable film and didn't have to be institutionalised.






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