“He’s never done anything in his whole life for anybody but himself.”
A narcissistic musician (Prince) from a troubled home romances a gorgeous wannabe starlet (Apollonia Kotero) while trying to prevent her from joining a rival singer (Morris Day).
Response to Peary’s Review:
In his review of this cult ’80s rock musical — which “catapulted… rock star Prince… into Michael Jackson megastar status” — Peary notes that “the story is trite and simplistic, and the direction by Albert Magnoli is crude, but the picture has enticing sexual tension… and the flamboyant Prince” (who evokes “the explosive energy of James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause“) has “undeniable charisma and charm”. Unfortunately, Prince’s character (based on himself) is also self-absorbed, petulant, immature, and abusive, to an insufferable degree; at first glance, he’s no one we could ever root for, but what finally helps to redeem him in our eyes is seeing the pain he experiences in his violent home (he’s clearly reacting to, and imitating, his dysfunctional parents), and watching him perform on stage, where he truly is “spellbinding” as he belts “out a soulful song, his fingers whipping his guitar”. With that said, Prince-the-performer is really the only reason to watch this poorly-acted and lamely scripted film, which amounts to little more than a full-length music video with a skeletal storyline. Others agree: Time Out’s reviewer, while acknowledging Prince’s undeniable charisma, calls it “at best predictable, at worst incomprehensible”, while Culture Cartel’s John Nesbitaccurately notes that “were it not for some excellent music, this film would be a complete waste of time.” Nonetheless, I reluctantly recommend it as must-see one-time viewing for film fanatics, simply for its cult status and its Oscar-winning soundtrack.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Prince’s dynamic presence
- Some truly electrifying performances during the final half-hour of the film
Yes, simply as a cult film and for its Oscar-winning soundtrack.
- Cult Movie
- Oscar Winner or Nominee