Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders (1979)

With their low-cut tops, tight hot pants, and gyrating dance moves, the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders became headline news after Super Bowl X in 1976, when the women were featured onscreen during a lull in the game’s network broadcast. Three short years and a handful of appearances on game shows and variety specials later, the squad was the focus of this TV movie, which scored blockbuster ratings. Not only is the actual Texas Stadium used as a primary location, many real Dallas cheerleaders play themselves in minor roles, and the cost ABC paid for this participation is painfully evident from the first frames: Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders is a 90-minute endorsement of the cheerleading squad as the gosh-darn-wholesomest dance crew in the world. Helmet-haired ’70s game-show stalwart Bert Convy stars as a magazine editor who wants an exposé about the cheerleaders, whether it’s accurate or not, so he hires beautiful freelancer Laura Cole (Jane Seymour) to try out for the squad and get the inside scoop. The movie also features trite melodramas about wannabes including Betty (Pamela Susan Shoop), a housewife longing for something more; Ginny (Kathy Baumann), a social climber with her eye on Hollywood; Jessie (Lauren Tewes), an unlucky girl with a stalker on her tail; and Joanne (Ellen Bry), a returning cheerleader afraid she’s getting too old to shake her pom-poms. In other words, there’s not a whit of competition, drug use, or fraternizing. As Laura declares at one point, “The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders are everything that their PR says they are—they’re just a bunch of nice, down-home girls having some fun.” Whatever. In lieu of narrative interest, the movie offers G-rated cheesecake, with the various lovely starlets disco-dancing and rehearsing in not-very-revealing outfits while horrible music like the original song “Sunday Afternoon Fever” grinds on the soundtrack. A Seymour-free sequel, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders II, was broadcast in 1980.

Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: LAME

No comments: