Flashback film: ‘Foxes’ is fantastic teen flick


By Megan Bianco
Special to the Herald

Movie fans often have wondered during the last decade what happened to the teen movie genre.

Amy Heckerling’s “Clueless” defined the mid-1990s, and Tina Fey’s “Mean Girls” ruled in 2004, when every high school student quoted the film on a regular basis.

But what are teenagers watching now, after 10 years of hardly any big hits for younger audiences? The classics from ’90s and ’80s probably, and perhaps some more obscure ones from the same eras if they’re that dedicated.

An almost-forgotten film that’s worth a shot at home on a weekend night is Adrian Lyne’s “Foxes.” Director Lyne made his feature debut with the teen girl romp in 1980, right before John Hughes would popularize and commercialize teens on screen. Though it’s almost obscure to modern viewers today, the film would be a precursor to the teen genre.

Let’s time-travel back to 1979 in the San Fernando Valley, where teens are in charge of their lives, go to parties and rock concerts and only see their parents to say good night.

Here, a group of four friends are on the verge of finishing high school and discovering independence. There’s the responsible one (played by Jodie Foster) who is ready for college, the boy-crazy one who aims to catch a guy by the time she’s 18 (Kandice Stroh), the geeky one who is secretly seeing an older guy (Marilyn Kagan) and the wild one who has no clue what to do with her future (Cherie Currie).

In the film, we follow the girls through episodes of family drama, friendship tension and drugs.

“Foxes” is a snapshot of its time period with the hard rock and disco music, and so is naturally a bit dated. Lyne’s movie is not necessarily a great movie per se, as there are a few pieces of cheesy dialogue and acting. But it’s nearly a cult classic for those who were fans during its original release. It’s also very fitting for 12- to 17-year-old girls who are intrigued by the era and pop culture of the late 1970s.

“Foxes” marked the acting debut of teen rock star Currie, who is quite good on her own away from her Runaways bandmates.

The movie also seemed to be one of the few nonchallenging roles to see Foster play someone her own age.

Those who enjoy all-girl teen adventure flicks like “Mean Girls,” “Heathers,” “Now and Then” or “All I Wanna Do” most likely would be the right viewers for the movie that started it all.

mbianco@durangoherald.com. Megan Bianco is a movie reviewer and also contributes other entertainment-related features and articles.

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