Desperately Seeking Susan (1985)

Susan Seidelman’s “Desperately Seeking Susan” is like lightning in a bottle: All its elements and ingredients come together perfectly. Seidelman’s camera captures a funky 1980s New York City that no longer exists, with all its menace and concurrent sense of adventure and it’s as much a character here as the actors. Speaking of the actors, Rosanna Arquette is perfectly cast as a bored housewife from New Jersey who lives vicariously through the titular downtown bohemian (played by Madonna), able to make the character’s arc engaging and compelling. Additionally, Aidan Quinn has buckets of charm as her love interest, and Madonna has screen presence and charisma galore in her first major movie role. It’s a terrific movie to watch over and over, and it’s easy to see why it has such a strong cult following.

Rating: ★★★★ (out of 5)

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