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Satisfaction (1988) Movie Review Summary

Actors: Justine Bateman, Julia Roberts, Britta Phillips, Trini Alvarado, Liam Neeson, Michael DeLorenzo

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Satisfaction (1988)

Recently released from the purgatory of senior year, a young rock band heads for a resort town to audition for a gig to see if they have what it takes. Jennie Lee (Justine Bateman), class valedictorian from a rough city neighborhood, finds the perfect summer audition for her girl band, Mystery, whose members include a junkie lead guitarist, Billy (Britta Phillips), a hoodlum drummer, Mooch, (Trini Alvarado), and an over-sexed bassist, Daryle (Julia Roberts). Though Jennie's older brother does not want her to go on the trip for fear of it deterring her college plans in the fall, Jennie and her friends decide to head down out to the beach and have the best summer of their lives -- in the back of the van Mooch stole from neighborhood thug, Bunny Slotz (Michael DeLorenzo).   Before they head down, the girls recruit Nickie (Scott Coffey), a nerdy teenage boy who plays piano across from Jennie's rundown apartment, to replace their keyboardist Angie, who's recently been put in prison.

The band arrives at former music producer and current club owner Martin Falcon's (Liam Neeson) home late one night. They find his house empty, but that doesn't stop them from going inside. The ad said that if booked at Falcon's club, the band would receive free room and board and, of course, they have nowhere to stay. Falcon arrives and tells them that they are a day early for the audition, but he lets them say in the wet cold and not so inviting boat house on his property for the night. The next day, after a few hiccups and slow starts, the band blows Falcon away. Soon, Falcon and Jennie fall for each other while the rest of the band adjusts to life in the wealthy beach resort. Eventually, Daryle, who is engaged to a dull-witted but sweet boy named Frankie, begins seeing a rich law student. Mooch and Nickie fight their feelings for one another, and Billy befriends Martin's doberman, Hamlet, while trying to deal with her depression and drug addiction. Daryle finds out the rich boy is not so sweet when he expects her to have sex with him during the fancy party he invited her and her friends to attend. Daryle puts a stop to it by knocking him over the head and leaving with her friends. Despite these setbacks, the band becomes popular and Falcon's club is filled nightly because of it.

One night when all seems well, Bunny Slotz shows up looking for his van at Falcon's club. The band fights Bunny's thugs who attack them on stage. Eventually, it is Billy's new friend Hamlet, Falcon's doberman, who saves the day, before Bunny and his goons are arrested. The van remains theirs. Daryle's finance, who's also shown up in the midst of the chaos, and eventually, makes up with her. But not everything works out so simply for everyone. Falcon tells Jennie that he's too old for her and doesn't want to get in the way of her life and career. She's heartbroken but deals with it with the help of her friends. Billy promises not to take drugs any more after an episode that nearly kills her, and Mooch and Nickie finally decide to be together. At the end of it all, Falcon's friend offers Jennie an opportunity to tour around Europe without the rest of her band. She turns him down, stating that it wouldn't be right. She's with the people she loves and trusts.

As the summer ends, Jennie and her band, Mystery, drive home a little more grown up with a new doberman named Hamlet, who just couldn't seem to leave his new best friend Billy behind. They can't get no satisfaction though they try and try, but life isn't always about getting what you want. It's about learning who you are in sometimes the ugliest ways possible. The credits roll and we see the band is still together and the dog Hamlet has become an honorary member.
Best part of story, including ending: Satisfaction has great singing. The girls voices are amazing, especially, Britta Phillips, who also voices the character JEM of 1980s fame. I love the interaction between the characters and the very opposing personalities created in the script for each band member. I don't love the relationship between Jennie and Falcon, but I see that it serves to teach her something about life.

Best scene in story: As Jennie and the band drive to the town for the summer, they sing Iko-Iko together, drumming on random surfaces and blowing into empty plastic bottles for instruments. It's such a fun best friend scene and tells you what the film is all about -- their connection.

Opinion about the main character: I like Jennie's determination to do what she wants to do as well as her loyalty to her friends. I think she's a bit weak in terms of her relationship with Martin, but she's a kid, and that's the point.

The review of this Movie prepared by Allison Marienne a Level 2 American Robin scholar





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Script Analysis of Satisfaction (1988)

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Plot & Themes

Time/era of movie:    -   1980's-1999 Job/Profession/Poverty Story?    -   Yes Job:    -   musician Poverty story?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   musician Age:    -   a teen Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Misc setting    -   beach

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death Any profanity?    -   Some foul language If lots of song/dance...    -   lot of singing

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