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Desperately Seeking Susan

Where to Watch Desperately Seeking Susan


Desperately Seeking Susan is a 1985 comedy-drama film directed by Susan Seidelman, showcasing a talented cast including Rosanna Arquette, Madonna, and Aidan Quinn. Set against the vibrant and spirited backdrop of New York City, the film masterfully intertwines elements of comedy, romance, and intrigue while taking the audience on a uniquely captivating journey.

The film revolves around Roberta (Rosanna Arquette), a suburban housewife from Fort Lee, New Jersey, living a life of mundane domesticity. Her monotonous life has created a void of excitement and adventure which is satiated, in part, by her fascination with a series of mysterious personal ads she reads religiously in the newspaper. These ads consistently carry a cryptic message "Desperately Seeking Susan" which fosters a sense of mystery and enchantment for Roberta, and hint at a world far more exciting than her own.

The titular Susan is played by none other than the pop culture music icon, Madonna, who delivers a performance as a carefree, free-spirited, and audacious woman visiting New York City. Her character arc intertwines with that of Roberta's in intriguing ways. Not only do the classified ads bind them together, but a common item of interest – a distinctive jacket embellished with an ancient Egyptian symbol — becomes a pivotal prop around which the story unfolds.

The dynamic between Roberta and Susan is simultaneously fun and complex as their lives collide in an unexpected chain of events. It involves a case of mistaken identity, memory loss, and misadventures which lead Roberta into the Underworld of New York's downtown scene. This is made all the more interesting, as well as convoluted, with the introduction of Aidan Quinn's character, Dez. He is a projectionist who becomes entangled in the perplexing and comedic charade that ensues.

Throughout the movie, the audience is taken through a colorful tour of the city's punk and hip scenes of the '80s. The narrative features a host of fascinating characters and backgrounds that frame the landscape of this vibrant city, serving as a backdrop for its comedy of errors.

Madonna's character, in particular, embodies the spirit of the gritty yet enthralling 80s counterculture. As Susan, she encompasses an unconventional, subversive, untamed strength, which contrasts beautifully with Roberta's docile, domesticated, and ultimately stifled personal reality. The distinctive personalities and lifestyle of the two women are beautifully contrasted against each other, offering the audience an intriguing study of individuality and societal norms.

Rosanna Arquette’s role as Roberta earned her quite deserved acclaim and led to a BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The strength of Arquette's character is her adaptability and her eagerness for exploration that stretches beyond her suburban confines; aspects she lends to Roberta beautifully. Madonna, too, delivers a memorable performance in her first significant film role, effectively translating her real-life star persona onto the screen.

Aidan Quinn's character, Dez, paints an essential third character, adding a critical piece to the puzzle. His introduction gives a new shape to the "Desperately Seeking Susan" narrative, bridging the gap between Roberta's and Susan's worlds, and adding depth to the engaging story.

Desperately Seeking Susan is not just a movie; it is an experience of the utterly intoxicating and chaotic 80s' New York City life. Through a lighthearted narrative filled with twists and turns, it playfully examines themes of identity, freedom, and personal growth. While it sits in the genre of romantic comedy, elements of mystery and drama are skillfully woven throughout the storyline. It encapsulates the era it represents, presenting a cinematic time capsule that remains relevant even today.

At its core, the film explores a traditional suburban housewife's awakening journey and her “walk on the wild side” of self-exploration. It highlights concepts of personal transformation, the acceptance of chaos, and a triumphant breaking away from societal expectations. Indeed, Desperately Seeking Susan serves as a hilarious, thrilling, and ultimately heartwarming tale of mistaken identity and self-discovery in the heart of a pulsating metropolis.

Desperately Seeking Susan is a Drama, Comedy, Crime movie released in 1985. It has a runtime of 104 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.1. It also holds a MetaScore of 71.

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Where can I stream Desperately Seeking Susan movie online? Desperately Seeking Susan is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, MGM+, FuboTV, The Roku Channel Free, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Kanopy, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu, EPIX NOW. Some platforms allow you to rent Desperately Seeking Susan for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Susan Seidelman
Rosanna Arquette, Madonna, Aidan Quinn, Laurie Metcalf
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