A seductive woman proceeds to turn a strait-laced businessman’s life inside-out when she takes him on a terrifying joyride in this black comedy-drama from director Jonathan Demme.
Meek banker Charles Driggs (Jeff Daniels) is dragged into a “yuppie nightmare” of boozing and bondage after an accidental meeting with flaky femme fatale Lulu (Melanie Griffith), who persuades him to attend her high-school reunion.
Improbably, The Feelies are the house band at the dance and after one of their own jittery gems, the pace slows to a narcotic groove for a cover of David Bowie’s Fame.
Everyone’s dancing better than anyone ever danced at a school reunion and Charlie quickly raises his game – jerking, waving, strutting, even moonwalking with inspired, voguish abandon. Lulu lets him lead, giggling and keeping time with hand claps as the man in the blue suit cuts his shapes.
The film moves up a violent gear when her crazed ex-con husband Ray Liotta kidnaps them both for his own vengeful purposes.
Constantly confounding expectations as to where it’s going, Demme’s jet-black anarchic comedy features a marvellous rock soundtrack and a great performance by Griffith.
Just watch out for those shocking shifts in style as the lethal paranoia builds.
Audrey “Lulu” Hankel