Sooner or Later began innocently as a YA novel by Bruce and Carole Hart. All was dandy until it was turned into a made-for-TV movie of the same name. On March 25, 1979, one girl’s view of love was forever altered.
“Everyone tells me if I survive,
Sooner or later help will arrive.
Everyone says the sun’s gonna shine,
Sooner or later that’s a long time.”
– From the song Sooner or Later by Rex Smith
I was still a child when it happened. Innocently I sat in my living room, ready to watch a cute little teenaged love story. Or at least I thought. Instead, it was a demonic tale that manipulated me, forever altering my universe!
In Sooner or Later, thirteen-year-old Jessie (played by a rather non-descript and thus easy to identify with, Denise Miller) goes to the mall where she gets a makeover that transforms her into looking sixteen. (Ah! Makeup! My obsession with the colorful goo begins!) Heavenly chimes of live music draw Jessie outside to a free rock concert featuring a local band. (I was already obsessed with rock and roll, so this only drew me in deeper.) However, the front man was no average singer! He was the tall, blond, handsome, and rather manly, wannabe rock deity Michael Skye! (No one knew who Rex Smith was at the time, but we sure knew after!)
Jessie later winds up with Michael as her guitar teacher, and through the magic of makeup, scores this super awesome musician, who would never give a thirteen-year-old the time of day, as her boyfriend. He sings to her, takes her out, and romances her. It’s perfect! That is, until he makes a typical seventeen-year-old guy move and she pushes him away while revealing her real age. Jessie is now discarded as jailbait, breaking her heart and taking mine down with it! I shed every stupid tear with her while she eats an entire Sara Lee chocolate cake. (Now I have been introduced to break-up eating! Evil, I tell you!)
Jessie manages to get Michael back, not by caving and sleeping with him, but by tearing at his heartstrings and making him vulnerable. Now he is totally willing to take it slow and respect her. (Yep! A vulnerable, respectful, longhaired rocker! I was DOOMED!!!)
Unfair! This movie made me obsessed with makeup, more obsessed with longhaired musicians, and brought me to believe that no matter how old I am, I can sweep a seventeen-year-old hunk off of his feet!
This is why Sooner or Later is one of my favorite, and most annoying, romances of all time.
Sidenote: The soundtrack included several hits. Two of the songs, Simply Jessie and the epic You Take My Breath Away, were played during my wedding. Nope, this movie did not leaving a lasting impression. Not at all!
For an updated rant, check out Sooner or (35 Years) Later, also on this blog.