I’ll never forget the first time I discovered Can’t Stop the Music and all of its tacky goodness. My best friend and I were searching for a Friday night movie at Major Video, a great local video rental store that has sadly closed up shop, and we hit the jackpot. Waiting on the bottom shelf of the comedy aisle was Can’t Stop the Music. Deciding to rent it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life. This film’s got everything: an amazing soundtrack with loads of Village People tunes, bizarre dance routines, tons of exposed chest hair, and Bruce Jenner in his prime.
The film starts out with one of the greatest roller-skating scenes ever, and it’s personally my favorite part of the movie. Jack Morell (Steve Guttenberg) is skating around the streets of New York like a pro to the David London’s “The Sound of the City” after quitting his job in order to take a DJ gig at a nightclub. This scene is the reason I own a pair of roller skates; that’s how inspirational it is. Another unforgettable moment is the dance number the cast performs to the Village People’s mega-hit “YMCA.” There’s a bit of nudity (no surprise there) in this scene, which really makes me wonder how this received a PG rating. What was the MPAA thinking? I could list all my favorite parts of this movie, but that would probably take forever because the whole movie is just so bizarre.
Even though I’ve seen this movie a million times, I still don’t understand what it’s about. I guess that’s the magic of it? It’s basically supposed to be a movie about the formation of the Village People, but it’s really just a mess of terrible acting, a bad script, musical numbers that make no sense whatsoever, and crappy special effects. It’s no secret that the film didn’t achieve much success. Also, releasing a disco-themed musical in 1980 wasn’t the best idea since disco was pretty much dead. Can’t Stop the Music actually won the very first Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture and inspired John J. B. Wilson to start what is now known as the Razzies. If that’s not reason enough to see a film, then I don’t know what is.