Kevin Bacon and Kenny Loggins give this film just enough to sneak into the archives.
The entire soundtrack (most of it original for the film) is perfect. Loggins, as mentioned, does much of it- but how good is John Cougar’s “Hurt So Good” in the Honkey Tonk bar. I like “let’s hear it for the boy” by Deniece Williams with the montage of Kevin Bacon teaching Chris Penn how to dance. Haha.
Lori Singer is really good here. Tall and beautiful—a Daryl Hannah doppelganger. She has spunk (scrapping with her ex-boyfriend), chicken-playing daredevil– attention-seeking with her father (a rock solid John Lithgow) issues. Lithgow played a string of villains- many of them in De Palma films (Blow Out, Raising Cain) – but there’s some nuance here. He’s more complex than the critics of the time gave him credit for. He’s wounded and scared after the loss of his son.
The success of the film however lies in the momentum of the entertaining archetype-filled but well-executed narrative with strong music throughout—- the film ends with a climatic and satisfying “let’s dance” sequence. There’s glitter pouring from the ceiling and the sun spot lighting by Ross- a nice touch
Recommend but not that close to the top 10 of 1984