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  Foxes Teen Queens
Year: 1980
Director: Adrian Lyne
Stars: Jodie Foster, Cherie Currie, Marilyn Kagan, Kandice Stroh, Scott Baio, Sally Kellerman, Randy Quaid, Lois Smith, Adam Faith, Sloan Roberts, Jill Barrie Bogart, Wayne Storm, Mary Margaret Lewis, Grant Wilson, Fredric Lehne, Robert Romanus, Laura Dern
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Another day dawns, and Jeanie (Jodie Foster) and her three best friends awaken in her bedroom after spending the night there. Madge (Marilyn Kagan) and Dierdre (Kandice Stroh) manage to rouse themselves and start to get ready for school, but Annie (Cherie Currie) sleeps on, with the girls gathered around her wondering how they can bring her back to the land of the living. Their solution? A glass of water in her face, and they are all ready for the morning, except that once they have eaten and headed out the door, Annie's policeman father is waiting and chases her, leaving the other three to continue to school...

Foxes was the debut feature from director Adrian Lyne, and true to his advertising roots this, as did his other films of the eighties, looked like a TV ad, with all the gloss and rather empty style that went with it. It was released about the same time as the similar Little Darlings, except here things were more self-consciously cool, even if the message was far more conservative than you might have expected from a film following the group of sympathetic, sassy bad girls that this was supposedly depicting. Therefore yes, they got up to all kinds of shenanigans, from drinking and drugs to sex and violence, but there was the shadow of the finger-wagging filmmakers standing over them.

This was not as good as Over the Edge, from the previous year, and not as good as Fast Times at Ridgemont High from a couple of years later either, those twin standards of the teen movie from this era before Porky's proved more lucrative as a template, but it was not all bad by any means. Not because the material was much good, but because the performances rose above it. Foster, in her last role before she went off to university, found an authenticity to her mix of attitude and vulnerability, and the actresses playing her three friends are no less effective. It's just a pity they're saddled with such affected comedy to put us through, which looks like a middle aged man's idea of how teenage girls behave.

That's nothing compared to the wake up call Foxes forces its lead quartet to endure, however. Cherie Currie, in her first role after leaving all-girl rock band The Runaways, marked herself out as promising in this new career path, but for one thing her character too often has wandered off on her own to get up to mischief meaning she's not in as many scenes as her fans might have wanted. As for the other two, for Kandice Stroh this was her only film for around two decades, and Marilyn Kagan never became a star either, yet you'll be impressed with their confidence in putting across their roles even if you grow irritated by the situations screenwriter Gerald Ayres places them in.

They each have to have an issue to wrestle with, so Madge is sleeping with a man much older than herself, and Jeanie is having trouble seeing eye to eye with her mother (Sally Kellerman) who keeps bringing home single men - Jeanie does meet her father at one stage, and he turns out to be Adam Faith playing a rock band manager. But the biggest problem here turns out to be Annie, who keeps mixing with the wrong crowd even though her real mates try to bring her back from the brink that the rest of the film is determined to have her flying over at great speed. So much so that Foxes begins to resemble one of the public service "message" dramas that littered television in those days, offering awful warnings to impressionable teens about how terrible things would be if they didn't obey the rules. On one hand, the film obviously wants the best for this age group, which is laudable, on the other, it goes too far in its moralising to truly convince. Music by Giorgio Moroder, with Donna Summer's On The Radio featured prominently.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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Adrian Lyne  (1941 - )

Slick, commercial British director whose background in advertising always guarantees a glossy sheen to his films. Made his debut in 1980 with Foxes before scoring big hits with such films as Flashdance, 9 1/2 Weeks, Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal, all of which were controversial at the time but now seem distinctly ordinary. More interesting are Lyne's less obviously commercial projects - the frightening, hallucinatory Jacob's Ladder, a sensitive adaptation of Lolita, and the relationship drama Unfaithful.

 
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