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4The Daily Tar HeelTuesday, February 7, 1984
'Star 80' portrays Playmate's murder
: M ,SY I
Paul (Eric Roberts) desperately tries to hang on to Dorothy Stratten's
Bob Fosse's 'Star 80,' which is presently showing in the area.
'Reckless' a bland, uninterestingfilm
By ED BRACKETT
Reckless is artless. It tries to be
something it isn't, namely, an affecting
love story. You know, the classic Boy
Meets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl
In Reckless the Boy, Johnny Rourke,
played by newcomer Aidan Quinn, is a
real scuz from the wrong side of the
tracks (nudge, nudge) while the Girl,
Tracey Prescott, played by Daryl Han
nah, is Miss Clean-cut U.S.A. from the
right side of the tracks (wink, wink).
But, alas, the conflict between the
backgrounds of the two teen-aged lovers
just isn't developed. Not at all. In fact,
Johnny and Tracey never discuss, or even
wonder about, their differences, which is
what the whole story hinges on.
Their differences, to be sure, are con
siderable. For example, Johnny's home is
a dinky, drab hell-hole; Tracey's, on the
other hand, is a mini-Biltmore House.
Johnny's father hurls obstenities and digs
sleazy prostitutes; Tracey's father hurls
cognacs and digs crabgrass from his lawn.
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Needless to say, their socio-economic
upbringings are radically different. Heck,
Johnny probably couldn't even spell
Why, then, with all these differences,
do Johnny and Tracey not bother to ex
plore them? That is, why isn't each
curious enough to find out where the
other is coming from? The answer is that
screenwriter Chris Columbus makes
Johnny and Tracey just a couple of dumb
kids who have no idea where they're com
Well, even if the script isn't very good,
there's always hope that good direction
can save the movie, as it did in Paul
- Brickman's Risky Business. Enter first
time director James Foley; exit hope. You
want endless, conventional facial close
ups? Reckless has 'em. You want
uninspired shotreverse shots? Reckless
has plenty. This is not to say that Foley's
direction is by any means sloppy it's
quite polished, actually but rather that
it lacks creativity.
And Columbus' script calls for some
creative, artistic direction, make no
mistake about it. Johnny, is a sort of
James Dean misfit with a lot to say about
"what's goin on." Such an expres
sionistic outlook demands ecmally expres-
. Teresa Puckett
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(Mariel Hemingway) rising star in
But to give credit where credit is due,
Reckless isn't all bad, especially when
compared with all the cinematic trash
that has come down the pike recently.
And surprise! Reckless doesn't qualify
as a member of the "horny teenager"
(a.k.a. Porky 's genre and we all know
what a truly noble genre that is). The sex
in Reckless though unnecessarily frank
at times, is treated with uncharacteristic
The acting is fairly good also, but even
that is marred by the lackluster script.
Quinn does on OK job as Johnny, and
Hannah, whose previous credits include
Blade Runner, fares well as Tracey. But,
thanks to Columbus, they have to spout
such dopey lines as "Yer makin' me
crazy!!" and "Crazy? Crazy? Ya know
what's crazy!?! Staying' here's crazy!!!"
"Crazy" must be Columbus' favorite
Watching Reckless is like eating a taco
without the filling: there's no meat there,
nothing you can really sink your teeth in
to. And what's left is bland and
Jack Harrell, Jr.
windows and sun roof
AT FORD, QUALITY IS
BRAND NEW KICK
Get it together
By IVY MILLIARD
A pretty young girl working at a Dairy
Queen in a small Canadian town is swept
off her feet by a fast-talking older man
with slicked-back hair and an abundance
of ambition. So begins the ill-fated rela
tionship of Playboy Playmate of the
Year Dorothy Stratten and her husband,
Paul Snider, in the Bob Fosse film Star
80. . .
Based on a true story, Star 80 chroni
cles the life of Stratten, who was shot
and killed in 1980 by her estranged hus
band when she was just beginning to
gain some measure of fame as an actress.
While the main subject of the film
would initially seem to be Stratten her
self, played by Mariel Hemingway, it
turns out to be the husband, strikingly
played by Eric Roberts.
Those who know Snider describe him
as everything from a go-getter to a
pimp. His obsession with Dorothy and
her career, coupled with his intense feel
ings of inadequacy, changes him from a
pushy yet supportive and eager-to-please
husband into a jealous, desperate man.
Aidan Quinn, as Johnny Rourke, and Daryl Hannah, as Tracey Prescott, play two teen-aged lovers in
'Reckless,' a love story dealing with the conflicts of different backgrounds.
THURSDAY 7:30 WRESTLING vs NC STATE
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SATURDAY 2:00 WOMEN'S BASKETBALL vs NC STATE
The Tar Heels are on top of the ACC heap (as of this writing)
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Roberts, in only his third film, is
eeriely realistic and creates vivid image-
Mariel Hemingway is surprisingly
right in the Stratten role. Despite gain
ing some notoriety for having breast im
plants to fit the part physically,
Hemingway lends a fresh-faced inno
cence to Stratten that makes it easy to
understand why her relationship with
Snider got so out of hand.
Cliff Robertson co-stars as Hugh
Hefner, who made Dorothy his protege.
Robertson fills the silk pajamas-of this
almost mythical figure convincingly.
Carroll Baker makes her first ap
pearance in a Hollywood film in 16
years as Dorothy's mother. Baker rose
to stardom in the '50s with films like
Giant and Baby Doll before retiring
from the public eye.
Roger Rees, the Tony Award-winning
lead actor of Broadway's Nicholas
Nickleby, rounds out the cast of Star 80
as director Aram Nicholas (a part loose
ly based on real-life director Peter
Bogdanovich), who falls in love with
Dorothy while making a movie with her
and encourages her to leave her hus
band. As a whole, the movie itself is visually
impressive due to the creative talents of
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cinematographer Sven Nykvist, who
won an Oscar for his work on Ingmar
Bergman's Cries and Whispers in 1974
and who has collaborated on more than
20 Bergman films.
Director Fosse, best known for his
musical films Cabaret and All That
Jazz, brings his own particular style and
point of view to Star 80.
Fosse uses a compelling combination
of flashbacks and flash-forwards of the
SniderStratten relationship intercut
with interviews of people associated
with the couple and their observations
on what led to the murder-suicide. A
voice-over of Dorothy in interviews
talking about her life and Snider's tirade
over the unfairness oftos life also punc
tuate the action before it builds to its
. This method may sound like an
awkward way to tell a story, but it
proves itself in drawing the audience in
beyond the simple scandal and nudity in
the film to the real tragedy of the situa
tion. Star 80 is, without question, a dis
turbing film about an unpleasant sub
ject, because Snider is simply pursuing
the American dream of becoming
famous, and this becomes an American
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