Several theaters across the country held showings of Purple Rain after Prince's death on April 21st. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it with the lingering side effects of the flu from hell, but I managed to drag myself the last night the local theater showed the movie.
Purple Rain was originally released in July of 1984, the summer between my high school graduation and starting college. In other words, thirty-two years ago. I still have the VHS copy of the movie that I bought in the late '80's, one of the first movies I ever purchased.
I can't blame all of my reluctance to go see Purple Rain on the big screen one last time on my physical condition. It had been over sixteen years since the last time I pulled out the VHS copy and watched it. Would the film hold up after all this time? Would the three decades change my perspective? Would my writer mind take over and pick apart one of my favorite films?
The answers are yes, no, and no.
No *SPOILERS* warning here because if you haven't seen it by now, you never will, and spoilers just won't matter.
My one nit to pick still exists--I thought a lot of the dialogue sucked back in 1984, and it still does. The one person who did best with his lines was Clarence Williams III, who played The Kid's father. However, I have a new appreciation for the body language and musical communication of the cast and the editing.
The music still holds up after all this time. Morris Day and Jerome Benton's riff on Abbot and Costello's "Who's on first?" still makes me chuckle.
The only thing that looks/feels dated are the club kids clothes/make-up/hair. I'd forgotten that the guys wore just as much product as the girls, if not more so, at the time.
Overall though, I left the theater last week feeling the same way I did after seeing Purple Rain the first time--happy. That feeling was totally worth sitting through the movie again.
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