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STAR SPANGLED GIRL

Review by Chastity Campbell

Starring: Sandy Duncan, Tony Roberts
Director: Jerry Paris
Audio: Dolby Digital Mono
Video: 1.85:1Anamorphic Widescreen
Studio: Paramount
Features: See Review
Length: 93 Minutes
Release Date: November 25, 2003

ďWho cares what her IQ is, Iím not giving out scholarships!  I just want to smell her and touch her!Ē

ďAlright, go ring her doorbell, tell her you want to smell and touch her, but then GET BACK TO WORK!Ē

Film **

While sitting in front of my television watching Sandy Duncan and Tony Roberts in Star Spangled Girl, something kept bothering me, but I couldnít put my finger on what it was.  It finally hit me about an hour after I had finished watching itÖThe Brady Bunch!   This movie had the same style, look, and feel of those bell-bottom wearing, man perm sporting Bradys! 

The setting is LA in the early to mid 70s.  Andy is the front man for the Nitty Gritty, a politically charge independent newspaper written by his friend Norman.  Norman is a bit of an odd duck.  Well, okay, if Iím being honest, heís a complete fruit loopÖbut he means well, honest he does!

Andy and Norman live together in a bungalow, and as far as I can tell they donít actually pay rent.  The landlady has a thing for playboy Andy, and he finds himself in quite a few compromising situations, but itís all for the good of the Nitty Gritty, so he indulges her.

Tony Roberts is perfect as the wise guy, Andy.  I admit I learned a lot from his character on the art of obtaining a meal free of charge!  He even manages to get his dry cleaning done for free!  It would probably help if the dry cleaning he picked up each week was actually his own, but hey, who am I to judge!

Norman, whom we have already established as mentally unstable becomes completely obsessed, romantically, and hormonally, by the new girl in town, Amy.  He canít think of anything other than sniffing her.  Yes, I mean literally sniffing her!  Like I said, the man has issues!

Amy has just moved to La La land from sunny Florida.  She came to town to take a job at the YWCA teaching swimming so she could work out at UCLA in preparation for the next Olympics. Sheís hyper, which would seem to make her a perfect match for Norman if he could just get past the point of sniffing her to ask her out.  

When it looks like the next edition of the Nitty Gritty isnít going to make it to the presses, Andy steps in and tries to motivate Norman by getting Amy to be nice to him.  Everything for everyone involved goes completely downhill from this point on, but itís definitely fun to watch.

This movie is fast paced and easy to fall into for the small amount of time it will take you to watch it.   The story is really contrived, and has so many holes itís not funny, but the actors do a decent job fleshing out their characters, so itís not hard to catch yourself laughing at the shear stupidity displayed before you.

Sandy Duncan just has one of those voices that seems to stay with you even after the movie is over.  Her nasally, whiney, southern accent just about drove me nuts!  At the same time, I laughed myself silly at her expense, so it balanced out.

As I mentioned before this movie radiated a Brady Bunch feel that even now I have a hard time getting around.  It was all in the filming style, and I wouldnít be surprised to find out that some of the people on the production crew had indeed worked on The Brady Bunch at one time or another!

With a simple storyline and basic plot, this movie wonít shock or surprise you in the end, but youíll have fun getting there.  Grab a copy today and let this all American girl teach you a thing or two about sniffing out a man!

Video **

The video quality of this Star Spangled Girl was nothing to light bottle rockets about.  On the other hand, there was nothing visually that would have caused me not to enjoy watching it either.  Once again, Iím left sitting on the fence where the quality of a disc is concerned.

The colors seemed muted throughout, so Iím left wondering if the original print was damaged, or the people who lit the sets didnít know what they were doing!  The benefit of the doubt forces me to go along with the first theory, which means a certain amount of forgiveness must be issued for this DVDís overall look. 

Quite a bit of dirt and grain was visible throughout the entire print, which shows there was very little effort put into cleaning up the original before it was transferred to the digital world.

The transfer itself was clean with no visible artifacting or soft edges.   So, while this disc doesnít scream beauty and perfection, it doesnít howl in despair either.  

Audio **

There were very few audio problems with this DVD.  The Dolby Digital Mono treatment didnít really sway the quality that much in any direction.  There was some audible hiss and low-end hum present, along with a few dips, and dropouts.

For your listening pleasure there are a few Davy Jones and Neil Simon tunes on the soundtrack, that really let you know this was a 70ís flick.  Despite some subtle imperfections in the audio, which can be attributed to age, I was pleased with the quality of this DVD overall.

Features: Ĺ *

English subtitles are the only extra feature this disc had to offer.

Summary:

This disc doesnít contain any extra features, and lacks the luster of some of the other newly cleaned and transferred DVDs from the 70ís.   Also, in a time of overly commercialized patriotism, this movie title might turn a few people off, but if youíre looking for a quick flick without much of a plot, then ignore the title and take this girl for a spinÖin your DVD player, of course!