In 1985 I went to the movies and saw the film The Legend of Billie Jean. I remember liking it a lot, but I was fourteen years old at the time, so my standards regarding the quality of a film were possibly questionable. The movie stars Helen Slater as a rebel teenager who gets in trouble with the law over a scooter repair.
Sort of a teenage version of Thelma and Louise. Except events center on a scooter repair.
The movie’s tagline was:
When you're seventeen, people think they can do anything to you. Billie Jean is about to prove them wrong.
I’ll be honest. I don’t remember the scooter at all. I’m sure it fits in seamlessly with the highly evolved plot, but it sounds a little odd without context.
The film also stars Christian Slater (not related to Helen, though their mutual appearance in the film would lead some people to assume that they are brother and sister to this day) and a host of B-level movie stars from the 1980's, including Yeardley Smith, Dean Stockwell and Peter Coyote.
Not exactly an all-star cast, but that doesn’t mean anything.
The movie comes up often in conversation because of the movie’s soundtrack, which featured Pat Benetar’s Invincible, a song specifically written for the film. Whenever I hear the song, I am compelled to ask whoever is around if they ever saw the film, and I have yet to meet anyone who did.
Based upon my wife’s most recent response to this question, I suspect that I may have asked it more than once.
So I decided to purchase a copy of the film for her to watch, so the cheese would no longer stand alone.
It wasn’t easy. The movie was never released to DVD, even though Yeardley Smith said in a recent interview that she had recorded a DVD commentary in 2008 and that the DVD was supposed to have been released that same year. In 2009, Columbia Pictures released the film to Europe, and after much finagling, I finally managed to purchase a copy.
With a bowl of ice cream in hand, we are about to watch it.
I’m a little afraid.
I’m starting to regret tracking the film down in the first place.
I fear that it will be terrible and all of these years of searching for someone who watched The Legend of Billie Jean will be for naught.
Fingers crossed, I’m hitting Play now.