Forty years after a pop culture phenomenon has long since shone brightly and then fizzled out, few stand the test of time when resurrected. Yet SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, one of the worst movies ever, is being celebrated as we speak. As you can tell, the phoenix that rose from the disco din is hardly a moment for yours truly. Yet (again) here we are noting this pile of what we used to step in before the pooper scooper law.
For me, JOHN TRAVOLTA had to be the most repulsive film actor ever. Who could find him appealing? Answer: Everybody. Even my cousin June – a Jewish American Princess of the first order who would never have been caught dead dating a greaser in high school.
Just a few years before Travolta’s meteoric rise to stardom, the dude actually had an artist deal at Midland Records (a small label operating out of 1650 Broadway – a building to which I commuted every day at the time). And I’d heard John was diddling with one of the company’s staff. A man!
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But most women who idolize hunks of masculine pulchritude don’t want to picture them sucking another guy’s cock or worse, getting that cock stuffed up their booty. Which is why FREDDIE JACKSON and LUTHER VANDROSS never came out to their adoring fans (many of whom were female). They didn’t want to nuke their image.
The funny thing is that as Travolta grew older, I began to like him as an actor. Maybe it was that he became less Bensonhurst and more Hollywood. Or he just morphed into an adult – and out of being a snot-nosed kid whose dance moves (at least in Saturday Night Fever) I found herky jerky and without inspiration (though many thought he was the second coming of Nureyev).
But I will say one thing for the film. I liked the score then – and I like it now. That does stand the test of time. But again, even at the impressionable age of 27, I found the movie unimpressive and downright embarrassing. If ever disco music haters had a cause, SNF was the rallying nexus. Such a piece of shit. And here we are celebrating the eyesore. Shows ya what I know!