Modern Girls

(Jerry Kramer, USA, 1986)


You probably have to be a devoted fan of teen movies to appreciate this modest, amusing film written by the talented Anita Rosenberg (who made Assault of the Killer Bimbos in 1988, but seemingly nothing since) and Laurie Craig (who went on to script Ella Enchanted [2004]).

The director here is Jerry Kramer, whose career is mainly music-related – including direction of Michael Jackson's bizarre Moonwalker (1988), which was re-released in 2005 to bolster his fatally tarnished King-of-the-Kids image.

Daphne Zuniga, Virginia Madsen, Clayton Rohner and Cynthia Gibb shine in this rambling tale of Los Angeles nightlife. (They all, in one way or another, went on to colourful careers.) The story takes in the pertinent differences between pop and punk, Old Wave and New Wave styles.

It is an endearingly schizo mix of "raging" and innocence – and one of the many unsung youth films centring on female experience.

Once a video-shop favourite in the '80s, Modern Girls is currently unavailable on DVD.

© Adrian Martin October 1990

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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