Film: Peggy Sue Got Married

Peggy Sue Got Married is a 1986 dramedy film directed by Francis Ford Coppola starring Kathleen Turner and Nicolas Cage. In it, Peggy Sue is a tired woman on the verge of a divorce from her husband Charlie. She married him at the end of high school when she got pregnant, and their relationship has been rocky ever since. She goes to her high school reunion without him, and meets her old friends again. Peggy is nominated for the reunion's queen, but she faints on stage. When she wakes up, she's in 1960 and has just fainted after donating blood. Can she get back home? Or will she choose to try to start a new life and not get married?

The movie's title comes from the Buddy Holly song of the same name, which was a sequel of sorts to his far more famous "Peggy Sue".

Tropes used in the film:

  • All Just a Dream: Peggy Sue suspects during her entire stay in the past that her experiences may only be a dream.
  • And Starring: "Barry Miller as Richard"
  • Brotherhood of Funny Hats: The fraternal order to which Peggy Sue's grandfather belongs. "Girl's gone — let's play cards!"
  • Cloud Cuckoo Landers: Her grandfather's lodge.
  • Cool Old Guy/Cool Old Lady: Peggy Sue's beloved grandparents, to whom she confides the truth of the situation — and they believe her.
  • Dead Guy Junior: Peggy notes, when telling her grandparents about her life in the future, that she named her daughter after Grandma. Grandma is appropriately moved.
  • Future Loser: Charlie
  • Hidden Depths: Charlie, and it's a plot point. Walter Getz, surprisingly, as well.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: Peggy's reaction to time travel, even taking an extra drink and justifying it with "What the hell, I'm probably dead anyway."
  • It Will Never Catch On: Subverted by the number of things Peggy Sue knows about the 1980s that sound ridiculous from an early-1960s viewpoint.
    • Charlie does think that The Beatles song "She Loves You" would be better with "Ooo's" than "Yeah's".
  • Make Wrong What Once Went Right: Peggy Sue tries to change her own life to escape a loveless marriage — and instead rediscovers why she loved Charlie to begin with, while changing several other people's lives for the better.
    • Also, the fact that her children Scott and Beth would never be born is a major reason as well.
  • Memento MacGuffin: One of Peggy's high school friends at the reunion recognizes the locket that Peggy still wears, saying she remembers how much Peggy loved the trinket when she first received it.
  • Mental Time Travel
  • "Mister Sandman" Sequence: One happens shortly after Peggy Sue wakes up as her teenaged self in 1960. As her friends drive her home, she's treated to shots of her hometown as it used to be, with vintage clothing and cars everywhere, and "Tequila" by the Champs on the radio.
  • Odd Friendship: Struck up between Peggy Sue and teenaged Richard Norvik, because she desperately needs to talk to someone who can understand what she's going through.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: After she wakes up in the hospital at the end of the film, Peggy Sue is uncertain about the reality of her experiences until she sees a dedication to her in a book of poetry by the Bohemian rebel she romanced in the past, referring to their time together.
    • Or it could be Peggy Sue did sleep with him in the real past and lied about it to friends.
  • Peggy Sue: The Trope Namer
  • Playing Gertrude: Nicolas Cage as Helen Hunt's father. He is six months younger than her.
  • Stable Time Loop: Maybe. Peggy Sue is sure she doesn't remember an extended blackout during her high school years, but there is some evidence to suggest that the timeline which existed before her journey back is the timeline caused by her journey back.
  • Temporal Mutability: Peggy Sue and the high school-aged Richard discuss the implications of her travel on the timeline several times, covering many of the major alternatives.
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: When Peggy Sue finds out Delores told Charlie that she slept with Michael, Peggy blurts in an adult way, "That BITCH!" Her friends are momentarily shocked.
  • Time Travel for Fun and Profit: It's strongly implied that Richard's reunion-era tech-billionaire status at the start of the movie is at least partially the result of all the future knowledge Peggy Sue gave to his teenaged self in the past.
  • Title Drop: By the titular character, no less.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Peggy Sue claims she never slept with Michael, but even before her "trip", she might have and was simply lying about it, since it would have meant she cheated on Charlie.
  • You Already Changed The Past: Strongly implied.