Picks and Pans Review: Can't Stop the Music

updated 07/14/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/14/1980 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Disco! Boogie! Get down! Better yet, stay home. A $13.5 million disco musical, ostensibly about the rise of the Village People, this is many things: a waste of money, a gay propaganda piece, a promotion for the sound track LP, a mess. What it is not is a movie. The only thing louder than the nouveau passé music, in Dolby, is the sound of reputations crashing. Veteran comic Nancy Walker directed (her first feature) like a blindfolded cop at a rush-hour intersection. Party-giver-turned-producer Allan Carr also co-wrote the script, including lines like "I didn't invent life, I'm just in it." Olympian Bruce Jenner perfects his wimp role. Valerie Perrine has the female lead, not an asset in a film where women are sexual bags, sexual barracudas, or both. Poor Tammy Grimes looks wretched as a head of a modeling agency. There are flashes of nudity (mostly male); kinky, flashy production numbers with spiked heels cutting into biceps; and a funny cameo by Paul Sand that proves talent can exist in a vacuum. Can't Stop the Music also proves something else: There can so be a movie musical worse than Sgt. Pepper. (PG)

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