Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) - ★★★★

Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Writers: Jerry Leichtling, Arlene Sarner
Stars: Kathleen Turner, Nicolas Cage, Kevin J. O'Connor, Jim Carrey, Helen Hunt, Sofia Coppola, Maureen O'Sullivan, Leon Ames, Barbara Harris, Catherine Hicks

Peggy Sue Got Married is a film with a premise that delves into many diverse, powerful emotions. Memories, nostalgia, lost relatives and friends, old crushes, new passions, and all the possibilities in the world are just some of the things explored in this thoroughly engrossing film. Kathleen Turner gives arguably her greatest performance as Peggy Sue, earning her a well deserved Oscar nomination for Best Actress. This film also served as an early spark in the acting career's of Jim Carrey, Helen Hunt, Joan Allen, and most notably, Nicolas Cage. It's far from a masterpiece. It seems more like a fun project that Francis Ford Coppola decided to take on. What I love most about this movie is the way it opens our minds to ask "what if I could do it all over again?" That made this film a really fun, emotional experience.

Peggy Sue, a middle aged-woman, (Kathleen Turner) has a hard time coping with her separation from husband/high-school sweet-heart, Charlie (Nicolas Cage). At her high-school reunion, she faints on stage and wakes up as a high-schooler again, 25 years in the past (1960). We follow Peggy Sue's journey through her past as she copes with the bizarreness of her situation, and discovers things about herself and those around her that she never noticed before. 

The greatness of the film relied solely on the effectiveness of Kathleen Turner's performance. She was remarkable at playing this very complicated role. A lesser actress would have had a very difficult time trying to convince the audience that they were 16/17 again. Whereas Turner, in certain scenes, looked and appeared to be that age. Sure, there were a number moments where she looked older, but my point is that from the get-go I was sucked into the fact that she was her young-self again. The ferocity of Turner's emotions in this film were awe-inspiring.

One of my favourite scenes is when Peggy-Sue walks into her old family house, and sees her mother and sister are so much younger. I teared up, because the expression on Turner's face captured the emotion of that scene perfectly. Not only was there disbelief, but an unspoken joy within her that I could relate to so much. Another unbelievably good scene was when Peggy-Sue finds out that her grand-parents are still alive... now that is such an emotion stirring topic. I'd give anything to be able to go back in time and relive all of these moments.

Can you spot Nicolas Cage and Jim Carrey?
To be able to have that opportunity to help someone that needed a friend, or say something that should have been said, or to stop yourself from making a big mistake, is something that would intrigue anyone. I was engrossed in this concept, and the magnificent performances by Turner, Cage, and the rest of the cast, which made it a great experience.

I feel there were things that detracted from the story a little. One of them being the cheesiness of the relationship between Cage and Turner towards the end of the film. I also feel that there was so much more they could have done with such a concept. With that being said, I did like almost every moment in the film.

Peggy-Sue Got Married is far from the masterpiece one would expect from a director like Francis Ford Coppola, but that is purely the fault of the screenplay. Had there been more substance to it, and less cheese added in, this little film could have become an unforgettable classic. The cinematography is terrific, and the score by John Barry hauntingly captures the essence of what it would be like to relive the past. I truly loved this film, for it made me feel more than a bit emotional.


  1. Good review you have here. If you liked Kathleen Turner in this movie, have you ever watched her in "Body Heat"? If you haven't, it's definitely one I'd recommend. :)

    1. I haven't seen Body Heat, but I'm keen to watch it now! Thanks Jaime :)