Desperately Seeking Susan | Chicago Reader

Desperately Seeking Susan

Susan Seidelman directed this enjoyable 1985 clone of Romancing the Stone, about an unhappy New Jersey housewife (Rosanna Arquette) who comes back to life when she stumbles into a thriller plot involving a shady, aggressive denizen of the Lower East Side (Madonna). The meanings of this genre are virtually automatic—with pulp adventure replacing psychotherapy as America's cure-all—and Seidelman accepts them unthinkingly. But the film acquires a pleasant, syncopated rhythm as it bounces from one unlikely event to another, and Seidelman manages some nice detailing in the minor characters. Arquette is consistently charming and inventive in a role that barely exists as written, and Madonna is given ample opportunity to strut her stuff. With Aidan Quinn, Robert Joy, and brief guest appearances by members of the New York underground, including Anne Carlisle, Richard Hell, John Lurie, and Richard Edson. 104 min.

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