20 February 2003 | brownjay
Tough, gritty and touching
On a purely visceral level, SNF is a joy to watch, as Travolta, Gorney, Pescow and others all demonstrate that they can move to the sound of the beat, and the music etched by the Bee Gees and others (don't miss out on the Trammps "Disco Infereno") provide a riveting backdrop for the performers to strut. However, on a more human level, the movie expresses in simple and sometimes violent terms, the struggle that kids on the edge of being adults face everywhere in this country and others -where do I fit in, how do I make my way in life? For Tony, the dance floor provides an outlet that undergirds his self esteem and gives him plenty of opportunities to score with chicks (Pescow even prompts him for sex by bringing the rubbers), but it does nothing to address his desire to make his mark as an adult. Living at home, kicking in for food, working at a paint store and blowing $20 or $30 a night at the 2001 Odyssey leaves a void that only becomes apparent when he meets Stephanie (Gorney) and tries his best to score with her by asking her to be his partner in the upcoming dance contest. It is a boy meets girl, boy gets girl? story, laced with compelling dialogue and subplots. PARENTS BEWARE: this movie features an extreme amount of profanity, a rape sequence, depicts women in a largely unfavorable light and contains a tough death scene.
In short, it is a movie that has stood the test of time since its release in 1977. It made Travolta a star (he was nominated for the Best Actor oscar as was Gorney for best supporting actress) and it deserves high marks on many levels. Please stay away from the sequel "Staying Alive". Stallone discards everything from the original but Travolta and the story is mundane and predictable.
Note: Rent the 25th anniversay DVD as it contains 3 deleted scenes and commentary from director John Badham, which offers insight into Badham's thought process as he directed and edited the movie.