‘Peggy Sue Got Married’ (1986) Review

With an impending divorce from her high school sweetheart, Peggy Sue is reluctant to attend her high school reunion but her daughter Beth convinces her to go. At the reunion, Sue reconnects with old classmates and friends, mulling over her choices back in high school and wondering what her life would be like now had she made different ones.

Her soon-to-be ex-husband, Charlie, shows up at the reunion, but Peggy Sue does her best to ignore him. However, after she is crowned Prom Queen alongside high school nerd-turned billionaire investor, Richard Norvik, Peggy Sue faints on-stage.

When she wakes up, she realizes she’s suddenly living in the past during her senior year of high school. Peggy Sue embraces this oddity quickly, pleased to be back home with her parents, her sister and grandparents, who are still living. She is also determined to change her fate by not making the same choices she did the first time.

I remember watching Peggy Sue Got Married with my parents a long, long, long time ago. I don’t remember much about it beyond Nic Cage’s silly voice (mimicking Pokey from The Gumby Show) and Kathleen Turner’s raspy voice. So basically… the lead actors voices.

I knew as soon as I saw the movie was streaming on HBO Max I would have to watch it again and I’m so glad I did.

I certainly hadn’t remembered that a young Jim Carrey was in the film, or that Francis Ford Coppola directed it. I also forgot how gorgeous the score was. John Barry had also done the music for Somewhere in TimeDances With Wolves and many, many of the Bond films. My parents are huge fans of cinematic scores, so I can recall hearing John Barry many times in my youth.

Kathleen Turner is fantastic as Peggy Sue and while Cage’s voice and character grates on you a bit in the beginning, he definitely becomes one of the more endearing characters towards the end. It’s important to understand why Peggy Sue does the things she does, why she makes certain decisions regarding Charlie. Despite Cage’s over-the-top performance, I think it really works and makes Charlie more interesting as a character than he would have been had Cage played it completely straight.

Peggy Sue Got Married is definitely one of the better high-school movies I’ve seen, with solid performances, a beautiful score and some truly moving moments. The script is also brilliant and I can see where later, similar movies got their inspiration. If you haven’t seen Peggy Sue Got Married yet, I definitely recommend it.

Author: Romona Comet

"I'm probably watching a rom-com right now."