The Video Vacuum (thevideovacuum) wrote,
The Video Vacuum
thevideovacuum

RUNAWAY DAUGHTERS (1994) ** ½

Three girls (Julie Bowen, Holly Fields, and Jenny Lewis) spend their nights chasing boys at the drive-in. When one of the girls gets pregnant by her boyfriend, he skips town and joins the Navy. They find out he’s about to ship out and they go on a road trip to the naval base to confront him. Since their uptight parents would never dream of allowing them on such a jaunt, the girls concoct an elaborate false kidnapping plot to cover their tracks.

Directed by Joe Dante, Runaway Daughters (yet another one of those Rebel Highway movies that they used to show on Showtime) in some ways feels like a spiritual, female-centric successor to Matinee (both films were written by Charlie Haas). Both Matinee and this flick are period pieces and feature characters that are neurotic about the current events of the times. (In Matinee it was the Cuban Missile Crisis; In Runaway Daughters, it’s the launching of Sputnik.) It’s not nearly as good as Matinee, but it’s a mostly entertaining affair. It’s just that the goings-on in the film are largely inconsequential and a lot of the characters are unlikeable and/or annoying.

Julie Bowen is excellent as the carefree ringleader of the girls. Paul Rudd is solid in an early role as her juvenile delinquent boyfriend whose motto is “don’t crowd me!” And if you’re a fan of Joe Dante, you’ll get a kick out of seeing his usual stock company of supporting players being trotted out yet again and essaying the roles of the teenagers’ assorted parents. And Dick Miller is pretty great as a slimy private investigator. Even Roger Corman himself turns up in a cameo.

Tags: drama, r, remake
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