There are many, many reasons we will always love Madonna:
• There’s her career-long dedication to kicking ass to help us achieve LGBT equality
• Her influential fashion sense (a blend of downtown thrift store cheekiness and uptown Haute couture chic) has made her one of the great style icons
• She refuses to play by anyone else’s rule book
• Her music (and its accompanying videos) have provided the soundtrack to a generation of people both queer and straight (seriously!)
Unfortunately, one area where the superstar entertainer hasn’t provided a lot of fulfillment — to either queer or straight people — is in her once-promising acting career. It’s true. There was a time when 26-year-old Madonna, who seemed to combine the effortless sexual allure of Marilyn Monroe with the brassy comic appeal of Bette Midler, was expected to become the next great singer-turned-movie star.
That brief, shining, glorious moment was 1985 and the Susan Seidelman-directed comedy Desperately Seeking Susan was a big hit in movie theaters. The bohemian, opportunistic title character, originally intended for Goldie Hawn, was tailor-made for the newly-anointed Queen of Pop. Fans lined up (the comedy grossed more than $27 million on a $4 million budget — that was impressive in its day) and many critics praised Madonna’s performance and described the character she created as “a Holly Golightly for the 1980s.” Alas, Madonna’s public persona is such a strong one that she’s since had considerable trouble subverting it into another character’s. Remember when she played a missionary in Shanghai Surprise? No? For every film that’s made good use of her skills (think Evita and, um, um… just think Evita), there have been countless other misfires. But so what? Not everyone is meant to be Meryl Streep.
Thirty years have now passed since DSS premiered so naturally a splashy anniversary screening is planned. The event, complete with costumes and lots of vintage Madonna tunes, is planned for August 13 at Universal City in Los Angeles, a mere three days before her 57th birthday, which many (but not Queerty employers, unfortch) consider an official work holiday. Can you think of a better way to celebrate? If you’ll be in L.A. and want to attend, note that seats are very limited so you must order tickets here prior to July 30.
Get into the groove with the original trailer for the film below.