Sunday, February 28, 2010

five foot something cherry bomb, she had everything going on

As one of the children spawned by the women's movement generation, as well as the female empowerment sentiment of Spice Girls, I am a sucker for all things girl power. Yes, I do own the first and second Charlie's Angels, as well as Legally Blonde 1 and 2. And yes, I did go to see Whip It! the first chance I could. Which is why I can barely hold my horses for the March 19th release of The Runaways. With equal parts girl power AND seventies rock and roll, this movie was pretty much made for me.
The film tells the rise and fall of one of the first all-chick rock band the Runaways, from being rebel kids in Los Angeles to rock goddesses performing their jailbait anthem "Cherry Bomb" on stages across the world. The film focuses on the friendship between the lead singer Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning, all grown up) and the lead guitarist Joan Jett (Kristen Stewart, with a mullet and without her vampire), as they deal with insane tours, controlling managers, and making the music they love. The girls become as iconic as their band's music - Jett becomes the badass black leather-and-mullet-wearing rock'n roll pure heart, and Currie becomes the resident jailbait sex kitten - a Bowie-Bardot hybrid in a corset and fishnets.
The Runaways' story is interesting because of the decadent time period - a post-hippie, pre-heavy world that thought itself wild (and was!) but was innocent to the future (AIDS, etc.). The fact that they were still teenage girls when they were thrust into the world of sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll is remarkable, and it is easy to see how the band fell under the resident Svengali of Kim Fowley, legendary music impresario who crafts the Runaways' image to make them into a smash hit, no matter how bruised or battered the girls get along the way.
If The Runaways turns out to be anything like Satisfaction! or Ladies and Gentlemen, the Fabulous Stains, I will be a very happy girl. I feel like this film could initiate a revival in late-seventies, post-glam pre-grunge awesomeness in the way that girls dress. Joan's uniform of leather pants and faded rock tees with slept-in eyeliner is still working on her over 30 years later, and Cherie's femme fatale looks could easily be channeled to today's wardrobe. It doesn't matter if you just wear a little something that is Runaways-approved, like beat-up black Chuck Taylors or studded dog collar jewelry, as long as you keep that rock'n roll spirit alive. I know that I'm already breaking out my black leather jacket, platform boots and black makeup in preparation.

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