"They finally even made a movie about it... Whenever anything important happens in America, they have to gold-plate it, like baby shoes." - STEPHEN KING, Carrie
Is it still legal to discuss Prince on the internet? I'm pretty sure His Purpleness issued a fatwa some months ago, strictly forbidding the general public from even invoking his holy name on the web. But we believe in taking chances here at Unloosen, so we are ignoring the fatwa and presenting you with this brave, defiant review of Purple Rain.
"The movie" is an important milestone in the lifespan of any pop cultural phenomenon, particularly in America. When some comedian or singer or TV show or toy gets really popular with "the young people," you can be sure "the movie" will be coming soon. After all, the young people are the ones buying the movie tickets for the most part, so Hollywood wants to give them movies about whatever the hell they're interested in this year or this month or this week. Preferably as soon as possible... you know, before they forget. You know how screwy these kids are. One week it's this thing, the next it's something else. Now, the pop cultural phenomenon in question doesn't necessarily have to vaporize a few fortnights later, but it just might. Really, if we are being very hard-nosed about these things, we will see that A Hard Day's Night and Cool as Ice were made for the exact same reason: to capitalize on a teenage fad. Some music act is hot, so let's get them in front of the cameras. Couple this with the fact that pretty much every singer dreams of being a movie star, and you know what you get? Lots of movies starring pop singers. In a weird way, these movies add a sort of permanence to what might otherwise have turned out to be ephemeral. That's why I started this article with that Stephen King quote. These movies really are like gold-plated baby shoes. Pop stars might fall off the charts and into obscurity in a few months, and they inevitably will age and evolve over time. But those movies never change. They're in the can forever, preserving the stars in amber as they were during their zeitgeist-capturing heydays.