Retro-review: Buying in to SLC Punk
Today's retro-review brought to you by the Vegas Girlfriend, who stretched the definition of "retro" again to include a movie not made in the '80s, but still about the '80s. Here's her review, verbatim:
TODAY'S RETRO-REVIEW: 1998's SLC Punk, starring Matthew Lillard, Michael A. Goorjian and Annabeth Gish. written and directed by James Merendino. (Watch the trailer)
THE PLOT: Set in 1985 in Salt Lake City, it's the story of Stevo (Lillard) and Heroin Bob (who hates needles and never takes drugs), two former nerds, now punks, who at first embrace the typical
punk ideas of anarchy, no future and picking fights. (Yay!) Sadly they realize that someday, you have do to grow up, ditch the green hair and razor blade earrings, and become an adult. (Boooo!)
MAYBE YOU REMEMBER: Stevo's slide show about which groups other groups beat the crap out of, ending in the the New Wavers. ("The New Wavers did nothing -- they were the new hippies.") And Bob and Stevo's friend Mike, who looks like a total geek, fights like a hardcore bad-ass, but whose dream is to study botany and save the rainforest. The film also features Spears and Daly's dream woman, Annabeth Gish, and, for all you legitimate theater lovers out there, Adam Pascal, who played "Roger" in the original Broadway production of Rent.
SURELY YOU CAN'T FORGET: The final scene, when Bob helps Stevo take his first steps out of dorkdom. Great soundtrack also features The Ramones, Iggy and the Stooges, Roxy Music, Adam Ant, Blondie and the Dead Kennedys.
WHAT THE CRITICS SAID: "What 'SLC Punk'' is really about is Stevo's ironic distance on his lifestyle - about the way he lives it and analyzes it at the same time. The message isn't 'live this way,' but 'look at the way you live.' There's a little something there for all of us." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.
WHY WE LOVE IT: Speaking as someone who was (and still is) a complete nerd and later dabbled in the whole goth thing, this film really hit me on a personal level. Sure, I will become a fully contributing member of society when I'm finished with grad school, but can't I still go to the bar, listen to Bauhaus and wear corsets at night? To quote the Amazon.com soundtrack review, it's The Big Chill for 80s punks.
TOP 5 MEMORABLE QUOTES FROM SLC PUNK:
5. "Wouldn't it be more of an act of rebellion if you didn't spend so much time buying blue hair dye
and going out to get punky clothes?"
4. "You don't live your life by lyrics."
3. "I'm really sorry about the beating, and I hope the rest of your stay in America is more pleasant."
2. "I forgot to tell you, I sold myself to Trish for 36 bucks."
1. "I didn't sell out son, I bought in.''