HBO has been showing the Back to the Future Trilogy around the clock this month. In my opinion, I think this is awesome, simply because Back to the Future is one of my all time favorite movies. My parents actually took me to see this in the movie theater… where my father fell asleep 15 minutes in to the film and thought the whole movie was about Lybian terrorists taking over a mall. I’m not positive, but he may still believe this is the plot of the movie.
Anyway, one of the many things that bothers me in the trilogy, beyond the lack of flying cars (as I mentioned last week) and the many issues I have with the hic-ups in the space-time continuum, is the two Jennifers. Now in Back to the Future we have “Original Jennifer” who is played by Claudia Wells. She tries to keep Marty from getting a tardy from Principle Strictland, she cheers on Marty and his band the Pinheads when they try out for the dance, and of course if it wasn’t for her note on the back of the Save the Clock Tower flyer which contained all the pertinent information about the lightning strike, would Marty have really have made it back to the future? I think that flyer would have been tossed and Marty would have ended up taking over Goldie Wilson’s job at the diner. Although her screen time is lacking, her role is instrumental in getting Marty back to 1985.
Now in Back to the Future II and III, we have “New Jennifer” (as I like to refer to the Jennifer played by Elisabeth Shue). Let me be clear – I love Elisabeth Shue. She is a wonderful actress.She is wonderful as Allie in Karate Kid, Chris in Adventures in Babysitting (and does a hell of a blues song), Jordan in Cocktail, Sera in Leaving Las Vegas (for which she was nominated for an Academy Award – loosing to Susan Sarandon in Dead Man Walking) and my personal favorite, Lori Craven in Soapdish. If you have the oportunity to see the movie “Hamlet 2” with Steve Coogan, you can see the admiration many have for Ms. Shue. That being said….I really can’t stand “New Jennifer”.
New Jennifer seems cheesy and fake. We have the terrible dye job they did on Elisabeth’s blonde locks. Her outfit is frumpy and not very stylish (even by 80′s standards). Plus, Elisabeth seems like she is trying too hard in the role. She is incredibly enthusiastic, but lacks that subtle sultriness that Ms. Wells exuded as Original Jennifer. Here is a you tube video of the original scene versus the reshot scene for Part II and tell me what you think.
Incidently, the reason Claudia Wells was replaced by Elisabeth Shue was due to Ms. Well acting hiatus so she could care for her mother who had been diagnosised with cancer.
We can get in to my issues with the space-time continuum next week, for now let me know your thoughts on the Jennifer Paradox