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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Satisfaction
Satisfaction
Fox // PG-13 // September 6, 2005
List Price: $9.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Scott Weinberg | posted September 18, 2005 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

One particularly funny thing about the 1988 film Satisfaction (aka Girls of Summer), aside from the astronomically generic and predictable screenplay, is that it ended a few careers at the same time it jump-started a few others.

Perhaps "best" remembered as the debut of Ms. Julia Roberts and an early embarrassment for Mr. Liam Neeson, this "rockin' girls" flick also served to end a few careers. Director Joan Freeman? Debuted in 1985 with Streetwalkin' before moving on to this project; she's never work again. Screenwriter Charles Purpura? Wrote the parochial school comedy Heaven Help Us, and then Satisfaction ... and then precisely nothing else. Ever.

But don't get the impression is really all that bad. Sure, it's an entirely paint-by-numbers and plodding affair, full of terrible music and almost painfully pedantic plot threads, but it's just too darn lazy to be any sort of "biblically bad" experience. I suspect that lots of ladies in my age range actually hold Satisfaction in relatively high regard ... if only in a "guilty pleasure" sort of way. Frankly I can't imagine anyone actually calling this a "good" movie -- not even in a "so bad it's good" sort of way.

Plot? An amateur band, four gals and a guy, shoot for rock stardom during one blandly eventful summer. I assume you could sum up the flick's plot without even bothering to see it.

Anyway, the lead gal here is Justine Bateman, and her rock-star movie came just one calendar year after the debut of her Family Ties co-star's own rock-star movie. (For the record, Michael J. Fox's Light of Day is only slightly less ridiculous than Ms. Bateman's Satisfaction.) And since we are talking about a late-80s flick that's heavy on the music -- you can expect lots of hilariously bad clothes, outdated slang, and consistently unimpressive covers of classic rock tunes. Basically, if Satisfaction were some kind of food, it'd be 1.5 slices of bread. Mildly stale.

Still, it's kind of amusing to see a movie in which Julia Roberts and Liam Neeson play second banana to ... Justine Bateman, and there are a few dorkily diverting performances from the likes of Trini Alvarado (as the "bad girl"), Scott Coffey (as a nerdly piano player), and Debbie Harry (as ... a woman). Plus there's a cute Doberman doggie running around, too.

But those small assets don't add up to very much; if you're old enough to remember seeing Satisfaction during its original theatrical run, and you recall giggling away with your girlfriends, you should feel free to give the new DVD a spin. Those who've not yet experienced the soft-rockin' splendor of Satisfaction -- needn't actually bother. Unless you're a huge Julia Roberts fan and you need to see what she starred in before Mystic Pizza.

Oh, and let's not forget; Satisfaction was produced by Aaron Spelling. If you've no idea what that means, then go rent the flick and find out. No lie, folks. If you don't lose it with the scene involving a stoned dog on the beach, just wait a few minutes. Justine keeps on singing throughout this freakishly banal flick, and each time it just gets funnier.

The DVD

Video: Full Frame on side 1, Widescreen (1.85:1) Anamorphic on side 2. The latter actually delivers a fairly decent transfer, which I wasn't exactly expecting from a Fox flipper disc of freakin' Satisfaction. It's a little grainy and gauzy, but not half-bad altogether.

Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0, in your choice of English, Spanish, or French. The English track is pretty solid, with balanced levels between dialogue and the lame-o rock covers. Optional subtitles are available in English, Spanish, and French.

Extras: You'll get the original theatrical trailer and, as if it's not played THREE times in the movie, the "Satisfaction music video." I can only imagine how hard Mick Jagger must laugh when he sees this thing.

Final Thoughts

No wonder these gal can't get any satisfaction; their combined musical "talents" make Brittney Spears look like Aretha Franklin, their clothes are freaking ridiculous, and they're stuck in a movie that looks precisely like a "girls on vacation" episode of Beverly Hills 90210, or worse yet, a pre-teen version of Coyote Ugly.

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