Saturday Night Fever

March 16, 2022 - John Travolta sells paint by day and rules the dance floor by night in this R-rated film from the disco era. The supporting cast includes Karen Gorney and Donna Pescow. Future Saturday Night Live cast member Denny Dillon appears briefly. So does future nanny Fran Drescher. John Badham directs.

Travolta plays Tony Manero, a 19 year old who lives with his parents in Brooklyn. He works at a paint store but dreams of something better, if only he could figure out what that something is. At night, Tony and his friends hang out at the local disco, the one place where Tony feels good about himself. Annette (Pescow) wants to be his girlfriend, but what little hope she has goes right out the window when Tony meets the older, slightly more sophisticated Stephanie (Gornley) and asks her to be his partner in an upcoming dance contest.

Overall review: ** I know. It's a classic, right? Well, maybe it was when it came out in 1977, but 45 years have passed, and Saturday Night Fever has not aged well. The music and the disco scenes are still great, but the rest of the film leaves a lot to be desired. For one thing, I found the characters, including Tony, very unlikeable. The only one who seems to have a job is Tony. Who knows what, if anything, the rest of them do besides take drugs, disrespect women and raise hell in the neighborhood. And, with the possible exception of Stephanie, the women aren't much better. They barely respect themselves. I was too young to see this movie when it first came out. Now, I feel like I'm too old to be seeing it for the first time.