Francis Ford Coppola has rarely had good luck when he’s tried to make overtly commercial pictures, but his 1986 time-travel/high-school comedy Peggy Sue Got Married is a rare exception, satisfying as both a mainstream crowd-pleaser and as a Coppola film. Kathleen Turner plays a morose middle-aged woman who find herself transported back into her teenage body, circa 1960, where she gets drawn back into the drama of her high school life and rediscovers her affection for her dopey husband (played by Nicolas Cage with an exaggerated squeaky-voice). The script by Jerry Leichtling and Arlene Sarner takes a high-concept premise and makes it quasi-real, considering what it would be like for a real woman to return to her past, by showing Peggy’s genuine delight at seeing her family and friends again—and her glee at realizing she can blow off all the high school horseshit this time around because she now knows it doesn’t really matter. With a supporting cast that includes Helen Hunt, Jim Carrey, Joan Allen, and Marshall Crenshaw (!), Peggy Sue Got Married is itself a nostalgia-trip these days, but what makes it such a great film is that it has no illusions about the past. Coppola and company use the ridiculousness of youth as a way to show how much better it is to be an adult. Peggy Sue Got Married airs on Retroplex at 9:45 p.m. Eastern.
March 05, 2014 newsreel