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SUSAN DWORKIN
from a screenplay by Leora Barish
Desperately Seeking Susan


click to enlarge

Arrow, London, 1985
(price: 2.25; 218 pages)


The blurb on the back:

It's a life so outrageous it takes two women to live it!
'Unmistakably film of the year for Madonna fans' -
Daily Express
'Warm-hearted, comical and enchanting' -
Sunday Mirror
'A delicious hit ... one of the year's treats' -
Sunday Times
'I enjoyed every minute' -
Daily Mail
'Wonderfully funny, inventive and wholly unpredictable ... the brightest film of the year' -
Sunday Telegraph


opening lines:
Nobody could figure out what to give Roberta Glass for her twenty-sixth birthday because Roberta Glass had everything.


You'll know the film, of course. Desperately Seeking Susan was one of the better Hollywood efforts of the mid-1980s, with fine direction by Susan Seidelman (check out her earlier masterpiece Smithereens sometime) and a couple of strong lead performances. The fact that one of these is delivered by Madonna grabbed all the attention - particularly in retrospect, when it turned out to be a bit of a fluke - but actually she's the junior partner here: Rosanna Arquette is a better actress and way, way sexier than Madonna ever managed.

So, anyway, it's a neat little tale about confused identities and ... er, that's it. And it works because of the style and the energy and the fun that everyone seems to be having. Which must surely mean that the book's an entirely pointless exercise in marketing, right? Right.

click to enlarge
Rosanna Arquette


ARTISTIC MERIT: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE:
1/5
HIPNESS QUOTIENT:
2/5


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