43 Going on 18
I have a theory about "Peggy Sue Got Married", to truly enjoy and appreciate it you had to be a teenager in the 60s and suffering a midlife crisis in the 80s. Now I wasn't born till the early 70s and as such whilst I enjoyed this time travel romantic comedy with Kathleen Turner delivering a performance which made up for Nicolas Cage's decision to try and do a silly voice I didn't connect with it as much as some seem to have having read some seriously gushing reviews. Don't get me wrong I can appreciate the underlying idea of a woman going back in time and inhabiting her teenage self with all the wisdom of her adult life but it didn't entertain me as much as it did for others.
Having married and divorced her high school sweetheart Peggy Sue (Kathleen Turner - The Jewel of the Nile) is not looking forward to her high school reunion and it doesn't go well when her ex Charlie (Nicolas Cage - The Cotton Club) shows up having promised not to be there. As everything gets too much especially being voted the reunion queen Peggy Sue faints on stage and when she comes to she finds herself back in 1960 and in her teenage body but with the experience of everything which has happened in the next 25 years. It causes chaos and confusion as she knows things don't work out for her and Charlie so why do the same thing now that she has a second chance.
One of the issues that "Peggy Sue Got Married" has is thanks to probably the 80s most famous time travel movie "Back to the Future" because both feature a character returning to 60s America but they are very different movies. I would never say that "Peggy Sue Got Married" is a deep movie but it is not just a comedy as it tries to look at what would happen if you could go back knowing what you know now. In fact that actually sums the movie up quite well, the often asked question about would you change your life if you could live it again knowing what you know now.
What does that mean well after a bit of a shaky intro as Peggy Sue and daughter Beth go to the High School Reunion we see Peggy Sue wake up from fainting in 1960 and having the chance to relive her life with future wisdom. Now with this comes the cliche, the amusement of Peggy Sue acting adult in her teenage body as well as chatting to school science geek all about the future because he is the only one who might believe her about time travel. And it is fun but the real focus of the story comes down to Peggy Sue's relationship with Charlie because she knows that they marry and have kids but it doesn't work out and so should she change the past to change the future if she can. It's a nice idea but one which with various 60s references has greater appeal to those who lived through the era.
Now there are various recognizable stars in "Peggy Sue Got Married" from Jim Carrey and Joan Allen to the wonderful Leon Ames and Margaret O'Sullivan as Peggy's grand parents but we have two polar performances when it comes to the stars. Now in fairness Nicolas Cage plays his character well except for the fact he adopts one annoying, gimmicky accent which is too much, too dominating and distracting from everything he does right. Thankfully Kathleen Turner as Peggy Sue delivers what for me is one of her finest performances be it as the 80s mother on the verge of a mid life crisis or as the teenager with the wit and wisdom of knowing the next 25 years. Turner simultaneously delivers the playfulness of a woman reliving her youth but one with the weight of knowing the future resting heavy on her shoulders.
What this all boils down to is that I like "Peggy Sue Got Married" and think it is a clever movie which just doesn't quite come off, partly due to the similarity with "Back to the Future" but also because for me it speaks to a generation who were teenagers in the 60s with various references which are not so familiar for those born later.