Heather DeLuca - 95.1 WAYV

Friday, January 27, 2006

Stayin' Alive...but barely.

First, let me say for those of you listening to Paul Kelly today--I AM NOT THE CULPRIT OF THE FOWL ONION SMELL SUFFOCATING THE STUDIO. That would be Kevin, our recently-turned-vegan Assistant Promotions Director. I myself enjoyed a very tasty BLT from Jack's in Pleasantville which I ate to fast to leave any lingering smell.

That being said, let's get on with the business of BLOGGING!

It's Friday and its my favorite day of the week. This is true for 2 reasons: 1. It's the end of the week, hello?!, and 2. Duh, the Big 80's Weekend. So I thought I would take this opportunity to defend one of my favorite (and widely underrated) movies--"Stayin' Alive".

Okay, before you give me the "Omigod did she just say 'Stayin' Alive'?" reaction hear me out. Yes, I am referring to the sequel to the 70's cult classic "Saturday Night Fever". Part two brings us back in contact with Tony Menaro, the character immortalized by John Travolta ("he hits my hair...Ya know I work hard on my hair and he hits it!"). True the character developement is not as prevelant in "Stayin' Alive" as in the original, but this movie is like a car crash--you don't want to watch but you can't help yourself.

"Stayin' Alive" finds Tony Menaro out of his native Brooklyn and in the heart of NYC's Manhattan. No longer disco-in' down at the 2001 Odyssey club, Tony aims to hit it big as a dancer on Broadway. The movie canvases his journey from lowly bo-hunk to 42nd St. success.

Now as I said I fully give over that the characters in the sequel aren't nearly as tortured as in "Saturday Night Fever", yet I find myself wildly amused by them all. John Travolta is on fire as a dancer and in such good shape he would rival Brad Pitt's "Fight Club" physique (by the way his hair is grown out, and he is tan, and he is dripping with sweat 3/4 of the film--HOTTTT!!!). Cynthia Rhodes (wife of Richard Marx and Penny in "Dirty Dancing") co-stars as the Tony-obsessed Jackie, a fellow dancer who just can't seem to get her love interest to make a commitment to her. Cynthia Rhodes not only dances in the movie, she sings as well. She has the kind of voice on soundtrack songs like "Finding Out The Hard Way" that could easily have fit her into the 80's music scene as a solo artist had she not had better success as an actress.

However, in my opinion the REAL star of "Stayin' Alive" is Finola Hughes (Ana on General Hospital and host of "How Do I Look?" on Style Network). Hughes plays Laura, the hoity-toity (please forigve if I misspelled THAT one), well-0ff, well-bread, "I'm sexy and I know it", "I'm beautiful and I know it", "I am the greatest dancer and I know it", British-bred socialite. Laura captivates Tony from the moment he sees her dance. Her long flowing black hair and to-die-for dancer's body addict Tony instantly. Laura realizes this and uses it to her advantage to successfully string Tony along and make him her new "project". The pair start an unrequited love affair that lasts until the very last scene of "Stayin' Alive". Finola Hughes is VICIOUS, self-obsessed, and more importantly, quick-witted. There is nothing she can't have. But once she has something its old news. She has the best lines in the film--lines that make you hate her and love her at the same time. Hughe's character is part of the reason I am so mellodramatic. I saw the movie at 5 years old and walked around talking in a British accent for months. I have every single line of hers memorized and she may be a bad-ass (this I am not) and self-centered (this I am not either) but her stingy attitude is palpable.

Quickly, the soundtrack includes several new Bee Gees tunes, and because the film was directed by, get this, Sylvester Stallone, his brother Frank picks up the rest of the slack. Frank Stallone created one of my favorite movie themes "Far From Over", a song that would ultimately end up on Mike and Diane's 40 Worst Sings of All-Time list.

No, the movie or soundtrack wasn't a bounty of success or critical acclaim but the real stars of "Stayin' Alive" shine--the dancing which is wildly entertaining, and the 3-way love triangle.

Rent it. Heck, buy it since I think its only $5 on the clearance rack at any movie store.

TTYL, Heather


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