In Defense of...Disco
Thank God It's Friday
It’s a lame comedy — a young Debra Winger as a clueless klutz? — but Thank God It’s Friday, the only movie ever to costar Donna Summer and Jeff Goldblum, is a fun time capsule. Set in an L.A. disco, with a vague plot about a dance contest, it’s really a chance to dig the platform shoes, tight-pantsed butt-wiggling, and brash decadence of the era (a PG movie with casual amyl nitrate poppers?). Director Robert Klane — whose résumé as a screenwriter includes Where’s Poppa? (1970), European Vacation (1985), and Weekend at Bernie’s (1989) — has a lurching style that suits the rhythm of the music, but oh, what music. Summer’s ”Last Dance” (which won an Oscar!) and the Commodores’ obscure-but-incendiary ”Too Hot to Trot” remind a new generation that disco did not, as the phrase of the day had it, suck.