One of Francis Ford Coppola?s bland post-Apocalypse Now pre-Godfather 3 projects. It could possibly best be described as a female version of Back to the Future (which came out only a year before this).
The plot follows Peggy Sue (Kathleen Turner), a woman in her 40s who has had a less than fulfilling life since she married her High School sweetheart (Nicholas Cage) at the age of eighteen. The film opens with her at her 20th/30th high school reunion (class of 1960, why they?re having a reunion in 1986 I do not know). To her great surprise she is elected reunion queen and as she goes up to accept her award she faints. Upon waking Peggy Sue finds herself having been transported into the body of her seventeen year old self back in 1960 for abstract reasons. There, she get a chance to play out her teen years again knowing what she knows now.
This is a nice little high concept premise, though there is room for work. Notable I wished they had come up with a different time frame then the late fifties, a time that?s been done to death, particularly in the similar Back to the Future. I would have liked a better set up of Peggy Sue?s life in the present so that I could better know her motivations, what she wants to change in the past.
Kathleen Turner is good in the lead role, she manages to give Peggy Sue a touch of a trailer trash aesthetic without taking it too far. It was also a pleasure to see Nicholas Cage before he started to be a parody of himself. The rest of the cast is fairly run of the mill.
This was a cute, mostly innocuous film, I had fun with it. However, it is sad to see what Francis Ford Coppola had been reduced to circa 1986. He went from a decade of masterpieces to this. This film could have been made by any moderately competent filmmaker and if I didn?t know ahead of time I never would have guessed this was done by a cinematic master like Coppola. Still, the film itself shouldn?t be penalized for having an over-qualified director at the helm. It?s good, but nothing great.