Mr. Bailey wants to like the movie, he really does, but he just can’t see it appealing to adults, because gosh darn it it just doesn’t make any sense. It may appeal to the Tiger Beat audience though, because as he admits, “it’s still fun.” He also sees the key to why anybody is still talking about it so many years later: it’s “driven by a refreshing energy, much of it generated by the tough-talking Robin Johnson…”
Crude cliches clutter up ‘Times Square’
A Robert Stigwood production; directed by Alan Moyle; screenplay by Jacob Brackman from a story by Alan Moyle and Leanne Unger; starring Robin Johnson, Trini Alvarado and Tim Curry.
By BRUCE BAILEY
of The Gazette
The plot of Times Square is so full of holes it looks like it was smashed by a jackhammer.
This story of two runaway teenage girls and their exploits on New York’s sin strip is also covered with about as many crude cliches as the wall of a public washroom.
On the other hand, Times Square is sometimes driven by a refreshing energy, much of it generated by the tough-talking Robin Johnson — a 16-year-old making her acting debut. And Quebec-born Alan Moyle has directed this American-produced film with some of the appealing, down-to-earth style that he brought to his low-budget independent movies (The Rubber Gun Show and Montreal Main).
This will probably not add up to enough to satisfy most adult movie-goers, but the film may go over big with teenyboppers anyway.
They’re likely to try to sneak around the age restrictions — just as they did successfully with Saturday Night Fever — drawn in this time by star Tim Curry (the lead in the cultish Rocky Horror Picture Show) and by the film’s double-album soundtrack of contemporary rock’n’roll.
The mandatory teenage rebellion is there, too. In this case, the upstarts are street-wise Nicky Marotta (Johnson) and Pamela Pearl (Trini Alvarado), naive daughter of a knee-jerk liberal politician.
Lonely Pamela, attracted by Nicky’s pizzaz, is lured out of the hospital where the two shared a room for neurological tests. It’s assumed at first that this is a kidnapping, but the two actually develop a friendship as they set up housekeeping in an abandoned warehouse.
The two become cult figures (calling themselves the Sleez Sisters), thanks to a late-night radio disc jockey (Curry). He resorts to a string of worn-out catch-phrases to hold the runaways up as symbols of freedom.
Nicky’s new-found talent as a “writer” and performer of “punk” lyrics makes the girls even more famous — but the road to glory, naturally, is littered with a few rocky conflicts.
Certain incidents are either inexplicable or unbelievable. As a trademark of their protests against the establishment, for example, the girls start throwing television sets off buildings. (Where did these TVs come from? Why is nobody hit on such crowded streets?)
At another point, Pam gets a job dancing with her top on at a topless bar, because the manager thinks it will give the place “class.” (Yeah. Right.) It’s also not likely that the two could hang around Times Square so long and not get hassled by the street people.
And it’s even less likely that Pam could elude the police so long — particularly when she makes a practise of standing around in public and in front of a large “wanted” poster with her picture on it.
The list goes on. But, well, it’s still fun. Take two boppers and call me in the morning.
Bailey, Bruce. “Crude Cliches Clutter up ‘Times Square'” Rev. of Times Square. Gazette [Montreal] 25 Oct. 1980: 107. (work);
Gazette, Montreal, October 25 1980 p 107_1080px.jpg, 1080 px (H) x 7518 px (W), 96 dpi, 573 KB (image)
Times Square ©1980 StudioCanal/Canal+