In March 1989, I was on spring break, staying at my dad's house, when I saw a TV commercial for "She's Out of Control." Although I was a guy, I was fascinated by the idea of a geek who miraculously changes and ends up conquering all. It seemed to me like an underdog story, and I've always liked that kind of story. But upon rushing to the theater on opening night--April 14, 1989--I was surprised to discover that the movie was really about the dad and his obsession over protecting his daughter. Still, I found it enjoyable enough, even with the PG rating.
Exactly 25 years later, I find myself typing a review after having watched "She's Out of Control" for the second time--on DVD, and on my Xbox One. What compelled me to revisit a movie so notoriously reviled by Siskel and Ebert? I suppose I just wanted to watch again it 25 years to the day (for the perfect timing), and see it from the perspective of a 42-year-old, as opposed to my 17-year-old self in 1989.
As many others have noted, this movie is really a movie-length sitcom with some mild profanity, and some other PG-rated material. It's mostly harmless, at least for people 10 and older. It doesn't break any new ground or develop its themes in any insightful way, but I found it reasonably entertaining and likable. It's what you call a "family movie," meaning that it tries to appeal to everybody--children, teens, and adults.
Those of you looking for late 80s nostalgia will be bombarded with music video-inspired editing and closeups, Paula Abdul-choreographed dancing, and Aqua Net-assisted hair. The girls' bedroom, with its George Michael poster, oversized Swatch clock, and Apple IIc, particularly encapsulates the final years of the Pastel Decade. Also, look for appearances by Todd Bridges and Dustin Diamond.
So, what do I think of it today? Am I any smarter than I was in 1989, two months before my high school graduation? Nah, I'm still stupid--and had a good time being stupid for the second time.
Exactly 25 years from now--April 14, 2039--I may find myself watching "She's Out of Control" for the THIRD time--in 4K. If IMDb still exists, I'll be sure to let all of you know about it on the review page.
Happy 25th birthday, "She's Out of Control."
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