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Film / Can't Stop the Music

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Can't Stop the Music is a 1980 American musical comedy film that is a pseudo-biography of the Village People, which bears only a vague resemblance to the actual story of the group's formation.

Samantha "Sam" Simpson (Valerie Perrine), a supermodel newly retired at the peak of her success, sees the response to a song her roommate, songwriter Jack Morell (Steve Guttenberg) wrote for her and agrees to use her connections to get him a record deal. Her connection is her ex-boyfriend Steve Waits (Paul Sand), president of Marrakech Records, who is more interested in rekindling their romantic relationship than in Jack's music (and more interested in taking business calls than in wooing Samantha), but agrees to listen to a demo. Sam decides Jack's vocals are not adequate, so she recruits members of what would eventually become the Village People. Meanwhile, she meets Ron White, a lawyer from St. Louis who agrees to help her with the enterprise.


Can't Stop the Music is notorious for being the first winner of the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture, for it was a double feature of this and Xanadu that inspired its founder John "J. B." Wilson to start the Razzies.

This film contains examples of:

  • The '80s: The movie stands at the nexus between '70s cheese and '80s cheese.
  • But Not Too Gay: Perhaps the earliest form of "queerbating" in that the movie can't have more than five seconds of homoerotic titillation without reminding the audience that the Village People are most certainly attracted to women.
  • Camp: This being an early '80s musical makes it a given, then add to that that it's a fictionalized account of the origins of the Village People.
  • Foot Popping: An odd example: In the photo-novelization of the movie, there is a picture of Sam foot-popping while she kisses Ron. In the actual movie, Sam and Ron are shown only from the waist up.
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  • Jewish Mother: Jack eventually resorts to bring his own mother to negotiate a contract with Steve. She eventually wins him with her kreplach!
  • Mr. Fanservice: Ron is clearly in the film as masculine fanservice, what with the T-shirts several sizes too small for him, the hotpants, losing his pants after spilling lasagna on them, actually having Shirtless Scenes...
  • Ms. Fanservice: For a Village People-inspired movie that features the fanservice described above with Ron, Valerie Perrine also appears in lingerie, and even nude at the YMCA's locker room. Who knew that a Village People-inspired musical would also follow modern day rom-coms' rule of "throw a bone to guys taken to this by their girlfriends"?
  • The Musical
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: For the Village People and Olympic gold medalist Bruce (now Caitlyn) Jenner; the former also overlaps with Autobiographical Role.


Example of: