Old School 4 Life‘s Today’s Memory
Premiere of movie Who’s That Girl
Originally shared by Old School 4 Life™
On this day:
At 7th August of 1987, the movie „Who’s That Girl” was released.
If you remember the 80’s then you might remember the summer of 1987 when “Who’s That Girl” by Madonna was everywhere. The song, written and produced by Madonna and Patrick Leonard, had an infectious quality to it and employed some of the Latin flavours that made “La Isla Bonita” such a massive hit earlier that same year.
Along with being a chart-topping single and a world tour for Madonna, ‘Who’s That Girl’ was also the theme song to a film of the same name, and the title of its accompanying soundtrack.
Originally called “Slammer” and recalling the days of screwball comedies of the 40’s and 50’s with Judy Holliday and Cary Grant, ‘Who’s That Girl’ kicks off with Nikki Finn (Madonna) being released from prison where she’d been serving time for a crime she didn’t commit. Although she is ordered to go by bus to Philadelphia, she wants to stick around the place she was arrested. This is because she claims she has information that would clear her record.
Louden Trott (Griffin Dunne) is assigned to escort her to the bus by his future father in law. Louden will be driving around the city anyway (in his future mother in law’s Rolls Royce), picking up the wedding ring and a rare big, big cat for an eccentric collector. While Louden is tightly wound and stuck up, Nikki, with her platinum blond hair, helium voice, fishnet stockings and tutu, is as free spirited as they come. What then follows is the story of how these mis-matched individuals eventually find some common ground to stand on.
For Loudon, that means first off all letting those inhibitions go as Nikki re-organises his schedule for day. Between big cats, taxi drivers, hit men, bridesmaids, and a wedding cake with guns, lawyer Louden knows he’s not in Kansas anymore. Is there a way out of the madness ?
Madonna’s performance is mostly enjoyable in this film, even if their are some noticeable cracks in her metaphorical armor of acting. Griffin Dunne does a great job playing the straight man, saying many funny and quotable things when being driven to the brink of madness by Nikki’s actions.
Madonna was keen to follow up the success of ‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ (1985) with more roles but ‘Shanghai Surprise’ (1986) failed to impress audiences and critics worldwide. Although her next planned film was ‘Blind Date’ (1987) with Bruce Willis, she opted for ‘Who’s That Girl’ instead based on its screenplay and comedy elements.
Director James Foley had already worked on ‘Reckless’ (1984) and ‘At Close Range’ (1986) but ‘Who’s That Girl’ would be his first big studio film after Madonna championed for him to get the job with Warner. Madonna wanted a familiar face there, someone whom she could trust. Foley was a friend and had also been the best man at her wedding to Sean Penn in 1985.
As for the film’s music, Madonna got in touch with her ‘True Blue’ collaborators Patrick Leonard and Stephen Bray and asked them to work on a few songs for her new film. Together they came up with four tracks,“Who’s That Girl”, “Causing A Commotion”, “Can’t Stop” and the ballad “The Look Of Love”. It was also the moment when the film’s title was changed.
‘Who’s That Girl’ opens with an animated intro depicting Nikki as Betty Boop-like character walking the streets of New York while events leading up to her arrest are played out to “Causing A Commotion” which in itself is an attempt to re-create some of the energy associated with Madonna and Bray’s iconic “Into The Groove” that became Desperately Seeking Susan’s theme.
“The Look Of Love” comes when Nikki undergoes her “transformation”, showing Loudon she scrubs up well. Instrumental pieces from these songs are used as leitmotifs throughout but the musical score by Bray remains unreleased.
The film was a box office bomb and It grossed $2.5 million in its first week, while its domestic total was about $7.3 million. However, the Who’s That Girl World Tour went on to be a critical and commercial success, grossing a total of US $25 million, and playing in front of 1.5 million audiences.
And the soundtrack of the film, enjoyed commercial success. Three of Madonna’s songs, the title track, „Causing a Commotion” and „The Look of Love”, were released as singles with the title track becoming Madonna’s sixth number one single on the US Billboard Hot 100. The soundtrack album went on to sell six million copies worldwide.
Overall, it’s pure fun, 80’s nostalgia and pop music entertainment with a great performance by Madonna as the carefree jailbird.