Hard to Hold

  

Release Date: 4/6/84

Cast: Rick Springfield, Janet Eilber, Patti Hansen, Albert Salmi

Director: Larry Peerce
Categories: Romance
Running Time: 93 minutes
Rick's Character name: James Roberts

Synopsis:  Grammy-winning superstar Rick Springfield makes his big screen debut in this sizzling rock and roll romance featuring seven brand new Springfield songs, including his latest smash, "Love Somebody," along with songs by Peter Gabriel, Graham Parker, and Nona Hendryx.  Jamie Roberts (Springfield) is the hottest star in town.  Diana Lawson (Eibler) works with children and only has ears for Tony Bennett.  When Jamie falls for Diana, he finds that music isn't always the food of love - especially when it comes with groupies and a jealous ex-girlfriend (Hansen).  With a true-to-life screenplay by Flashdance's Tom Hedley and nonstop score by today's chart-topping artists, Hard to Hold is the one for music fans to grab! (taken from the back cover of the VHS movie Hard to Hold)



One "towel" scene is simply NOT enough.  
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Critic Review:

Hard to Hold was designed to promote pop singer Rick Springfield as a viable screen personality. That it falls short is not necessarily the fault of Springfield, who does his best with the tools at hand. The star is appropriately cast as an immensely successful recording artist named James Roberts. As a result of a fender-bender accident, Roberts meets and falls in love with child psychologist Diana Lawson (Janet Eilber), who is not the least bit impressed with James' wealth or fame. He spends the rest of the picture following (but not stalking, mind you) Diana all over San Francisco, much to the discomfort of his lovelorn writing partner Nicky Nides (Patti Hanson). Naturally, the two protagonists finally come together, and though the first part of the film contains enough humor and warmth to be entertaining, the film quickly spirals into melodrama during the second half. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

 

According to US

I had this movie's release date starred, circled, highlighted, etc. on my family's calendar the day I knew it was coming out. (Strangely enough, right around this time-early April...) I by no means live in a rinky-dink suburb either, but when it finally made the papers of where it was showing, the closest theatre was 1/2 hour from my house. Not being able to drive yet, and being my parent's oldest child - I had to be on my best behavior and beg my parents to drive me and my friends to see it the Friday night it came out.    They agreed to the drop & shop (they drop us off, go shopping and come back
to pick up later) after much nagging on my part.

THE DAY arrives - I go to school decked out in my finest Rick "garb". I used to have (well, okay I still do) this jean jacket that I had pinned on every Rick pin manufactured (and some homemade) which I wore everywhere. Between that and my concert t-shirt, there was no mistaking I was a Rick fan! Go to
the theatre that evening, it is PACKED with Rick fans. We are so late getting in that we miss the previews, and walk into the theatre right at the moment Rick is bursting through the door in the first scene. I could have stood there right in the aisle and watched the whole flick like that, I was so taken away with Rick on the big screen. Find seats...and proceed to hoot & holler through the "nekkid" butt scene. I have to admit, this is one of my favorite scenes in the movie, only because I love the grin on his face when he realizes the door is locked, and he does his "awe shit".... then he shows us that fabulous grin again when he has eluded the mob on the stairs. I have been known to pause the movie at this point just to see that grin peeking out from the wall.

Another favorite line which my friends and I quoted repeatedly that year at school was, "Who do you think you're dealing with, some kind of bimbo? Oh, you got it bimbo!". I must admit to a 15 year old, this is quite awesome script writing. To the 32 year old I am now, I shudder at some of the dialogue. Again another favorite scene - the slow scrolling of "the butt"!   while Rick is lying there in the bed. Who didn't have fantasies of this man after that one????

I too was very disappointed of the choice of Janet Eilber as the lead. To the teenage me - she was ancient! Again, to the 32 year old me - she was ancient! I found it highly unlikely that someone of Rick's caliber would find her attractive. This is the only casting problem I have with the movie - Patti Hansen was great - the guys in the band were great - Owen (the Dana clone) was excellent..."it's not all tits & champagne".  Casserole! I loved   that man giving up his pants for Rick. I named a future hamster after that character.

I agree with the other reviewers so far also on the most favorite scene - outside the hotel after Jamie has chased Diana (why, I'm thinking - just let her go! I'm available) and she tells him she doesn't want his autograph, she wants him. And he says in that incredibly sexy voice - "you've got me. Know what else you've got, a wet butt!" Classic. Touching & funny, my kind of man.

The teenage me really, really, really...liked the movie (sorry, I think I've watched this movie too damn much!). It was totally what I expected at the time it came out, nothing more. I strangely enough did not enjoy the concert scenes too much, but I think that resulted in watching too many behind the
scenes specials on the making of Hard to Hold-so my subconscious knew this was a Jefferson Starship audience; not fair that they weren't really Rick fans. I had been to a couple of Rick shows by then also, and I just knew that that wasn't totally his stage presence, even then. (which is nothing like what it is now!)

The adult me still really, really, really...likes the movie. I watch it with my kids now, and they snicker through the "nekkid" butt scene. I never thought back then sitting there in the movie theatre (and I did go back and see it again a few more times before it's run ended...and then A LOT more times when it hit the dollar show - but I never kept count) that someday I would still be a Rick fan exposing my kids to what I think is the best musician of "my time". I never expected an Oscar performance out of Rick for this movie (or any other really) because I think a part of me just wants him to be a better singer/songwriter than actor. Ok, enough Freud for now.

Strangely enough, when this movie came out on video - the preview before it, Olivia Newton-John's Xanadu - was like the movie I lived by before Hard to Hold. My family knew of this obsession (ok at 13 I was really into roller-skating and wanted to BE Olivia) and Xanadu held the record for the movie I had seen the most times before Hard to Hold came out. (and I'm not sharing that number with you, I can't believe I am even sharing this much!) So when I popped the tape in (after spending $89.99 of my hard earned money from my after school job because I had to OWN the damn thing) and the preview from Xanadu came on - the hair on my arms literally stood on end. I don't know what this means, or why I had to share it... - Michelle P.
I actually got to see this movie the night before it hit theaters as the radio station where I lived did a sneak preview. One way to win tickets was to go to Arby's and unscramble some phrases. I don't remember what they were, but I have a feeling they were Rick related. I knew I wasn't leaving that Arby's until I had it figured out. It really didn't take that long. Then later, the radio station was giving away tickets and they had asked who Noah was with when he left General Hospital. This is somewhat of a tricky question because Dr. Drake couldn't make up his mind, but the answer they were looking for was "Tiffany" and everyone else kept saying Bobbie, so I won another pair.

So after much anticipation, Thursday arrives and it's time for the movie. The radio station did some raffles giving away some Hard To Hold promo stuff, but I didn't manage to win any of that. 

The movie starts....

I have to admit, I was a little embarrassed by how much Rick was showing off his naked butt. I'm like, "okay, enough already." I really did like the movie. I went and saw it the next night, and then on Saturday, and I'm not sure how many more times I saw it after that before it was pulled. I've probably only watched it around 10 times total. It wasn't until I watched it after about a 10 year break that I realized how badly the movie was edited. I think that originally, I was so focused on watching Rick in the movie and his performance, that I really never saw the movie as a whole, so after some time went by and I watched it again, I was able to see it more from a distance.
My feeling now is that the movie was OK, it would have been better if it had been edited right. I think Rick's performance was really good. - rlh
I am thrilled to have a copy of this movie on DVD. I absolutely love Rick in this movie now as much as I did then. I watched it countless times! And I continue to watch it even now. It brings back wonderful memories for me. 

Despite the fact that Jamie's love interest had to be Dianna, it was a pretty good story I thought. I know this type of story has been told over & over, but hey....it's Rick in this one :-) I think he had better chemistry with Nicky. One of my favorite scenes is when he comes back from being turned down by Dianna & he's playing pool with Nicky. He says, "HEY! You're cheating..." and she replies, "I'm not cheating," & then she puts the move on him over the table. I also love when he's at Dianna's, lying with that naked butt in her bed, and he says, "we just made love." She flies back with, "No we didn't. We just had sex!" That is such a comical scene in my opinion. Major role reversal there! Normally it would be the rock star who gives the lover the boot! 

Rick's acting was just great in this movie. Well, I've yet to see a movie in which his acting is NOT great :-) The man is just a natural. He steals every scene with his presence, and there's quite a bit of humor written up for him too. I also love the little conversation/accusation about him having herpes. What a hoot! And then how it's carried over to the discussion with Dianna's father. LOL!

Another great scene is the angry (at least to begin with) breakup of he & Nicky. When I saw this movie again recently, and saw Rick/Jamie smashing the guitar, I then wondered...."hmmm...is it possible that he smashed that guitar for the role & thought it felt pretty good?" Maybe that's part of why he does it on stage now. He may have liked the feeling of getting out the angst! Just a thought, since I don't recall him smashing any in the 80's.

The music is superb in H2H! (yes of course....Rick wrote nearly all of it) And I love the stage performance scenes most of all. Even though it's a common storyline for so many movies before it & after, I still like it: 2 totally different people from different worlds fall in love, they resist that love (or at least one of them does, because it will "never work"), they are scared to take that chance (Dianna: "I'll cross that bridge when...." & Jamie: "what, when it collapses?"), they decide to part ways (reluctantly) & finally....the lovers realize they must take a chance on love (you only get one spin at "real" love..."Love Somebody!"). So they suddenly run back in search of each other, and find one another just in time....before she flies away on the plane. Like I said, it's a pretty common theme, but it's a fairy-tale story that I'm a real sucker for. It speaks a lot of truth. Two different people really can find love & happiness if they are willing to take risks. 

Rick was amazingly hot in this film I thought. Even his hairstyle doesn't seem to 80ish to me when I see it now. (but those pink sports coats HAD to go.....UGH!) I like the black leather personally, or let's say the jeans & no shirt look :-) Other than those light pink jackets....his wardrobe was great. I can tell that he really poured himself into this story & tried to create some fun with it. 

Now---if we could just get another Rick S. motion picture in the near future...that would really rock!  - Kelley Pearson

I know I've already submitted a review of this awesome movie, and that mostly dealt with my memories of seeing it as a teen in the movie theatre when it was released, and then again on video. However, with the momentous occasion of it FINALLY being released on DVD, well I found that this was reason to 1) review this movie again once more -too much Rick can't possibly be a bad thing
2) really pick the movie apart now that I can watch it frame by frame.
I'm known in the MI circles as the queen of the freeze frame-not something I'm proud of mind you, it just slipped out once at a gathering, and once it left my mouth I realized I had crossed a line I really only crossed before in my head.

Since all of you by now (better) know the plot of the movie, I will skip trying to summarize the story and get right down to the nitty-gritty. 

Therefore, let's begin with the starting - the crowd chanting "Jamie, Jamie". My stereo surround DVD player plays this as Jamie! <from the right> then Jamie! <from the left>. Nice to know this crowd was doing the James Roberts version of "Tastes Great, Less Filling". :-) "Stand Up" sounds awesome, however..and it's always a thrill to get the whole version of that song nowadays, so nothing wrong there. Notice tho, that Rick's hair was drenched with sweat when he was backstage right before performing this song, however back up on the stage just the back end of his hair is wet. Then...backstage again his head is soaked. 

Ok, on thru the shower and running with towel scenes. No flubs here, just a good time to pause and watch frame by frame. It is me, or does the back of Rick's shoulder look especially naked without the tattoo? Nevermind.

Next, the car accident scene. This scene always bugged me for several reasons, going way back to when I first saw this in the theatre. Yeah, Rick looks like he's about to run the red light because he's drying his hair with the towel. However, Diana has the green light and is turning - and in the middle of the turn (!) stops and honks at him -and he hasn't even reached the intersection yet. Then the cars hit. To me, it looks like the accident is her fault, not his-she didn't complete her turn. Also, what is UP with a guy selling flowers out of a cart IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT? We know it's after a show, so it's gotta be what, like close to midnight at least -which is also evident by how few people are on the street -who also just walk by the cars and look, and keep on walking. Bad, bad scene. She is not very beautiful, and if he's troubled -well then I want some of that trouble...

Onto the next scene. It was obvious that Jamie & Diana did not trade personal information at the accident, he told her who HE was and where he was staying. So how did Casserole know where she lived? Then, when Casserole comes back and says she turned him down, he's holding a basket of yellow roses, when the roses he had standing at the door were red & pink. Then Owen explains who she is. Huh? Obviously Owen was Jamie's personal assistant as well as manager. And when does a manager hang out with his client, like ALL the time? Doesn't he work for anyone else? 

It is recommended that fast-forwarding now commences through the restaurant scene, pausing only to check out Rick's dimple(s) & wink from the bar. Now we are at the Tony Bennett impersonator scene, which in theory is really cute and I'd melt if my husband ever found a Rick impersonator to sing outside my bedroom window. However, this guy looks more like Casey Kasem rather than Tony Bennett-good thing he sounds close. Should we be worried that Jamie/Rick knows the words to "I left my heart in San Francisco" considering the contempt with which he spit out the name Tony Bennett at the restaurant?

Ahh..the "butt scene". The pinnacle of the flick for all Rick fans. Watching this frame by frame causes you to notice there is a pimple on his shoulder (makeup! What happened to the makeup? I guess he was truly au' naturel) which of course if you are watching this at normal speed, Rick doesn't even have shoulders that you are aware of. How that woman could throw him out of her house, let alone her bed is beyond me. She obviously needs therapy herself. The next thing that bugs me is the left-handed rock throw by Rick. Left-handed? He's ambidextrous! Oooh...she REALLY made a mistake giving him the boot. Imagine the possibilities of Rick being just as good with the left hand as well as the right... (pausing for a drink of water here) Oh, and then the rock makes a perfect circle in the window? Whatever. I'm still stuck on the fact that she's a "realistic" idiot.

Now, Jamie with Nikki playing pool. This scene was hotter than the aforementioned butt scene, but without the butt. This time we get to see Rick in an open shirt! Yippee! Chest hair. I've always wanted to take a bite out of his chin also after watching this scene. Maybe not, I could get escorted to the door too. Fashion alert here! Rick's pants are tucked into the boots he is wearing, didn't notice that before. Next we get to see Jamie & Diana's "non-date". I call it a non-date, because he met her at the restaurant, then they argued as they walked down the street about him being a "star", he kisses her to shut her up, then it is suggested that they will have sex again. I know that this is *our* version of the perfect date with Rick Springfield, but gee -doesn't the man need to eat sometime to replenish all this spent energy?
Next fashion alert- the sailor uniform. Good thing the wardrobe people went for the dress whites, and not the goofy bell bottoms with the white hat. That could have been a whole different scene entirely. The way Rick delivers the line, "You told me you liked sailors" is worth a replay or two. Made me all dewy-eyed & breathless. :-) The best part about the next scene involving Diana's father in the bar is Rick delivering the next dewy-eyed & breathless line, "I know how to make you feel better -give me a shot". Jell-O. My legs now feel like Jell-O. Ok, so two more "dates" with Jamie Roberts with a lot of kissing & heaving petting. Obviously Diana just looks a lot older than she really is.
Resume fast forwarding through the herpes joke/toy boat scene. Does nothing for the plot but introduce us to a sober Diana's father (of course he's playing with a toy boat, how sober is he?). On to a scene with Nikki & Jamie again, this time they are having a no-sense argument on the balcony of the hotel room. Back to the recording studio, Jamie is now wearing the same clothes from the "boating expedition". Can you say sucky editing?? Obviously not yet, because now Jamie & Diana are going running. More spent energy, this time in a less recreational activity.

Aha! Finally, the man is exhausted in the next scene because he's sleeping through a din so loud it is incredulous. Diana, showing her true maturity here molests him while he is unconscious-right in plain view of the street. Hey Lady, shove some food in his mouth, will ya? I see where this relationship is going way before the writers here, because obviously if they are not screwing he is bored. Good thing he stored up some energy though, because now we've hit the chase scene of the movie. Most big budget flicks have a chase scene that involves cars of some sort. You can tell the budget of this movie because the chase scene involves people on foot. I'm not sure about this either (it was hard to tell with the lighting-it was night) but I think it's some of the same girls from the famous towel scene. I know you can't tell from the scenes we've been through so far, but it obviously doesn't take much to turn Diana on. Running uphill (or should I say dragged?) through the streets of San Francisco has always been a favorite part of foreplay for me. NOT. So off to the hotel we go...

Believe it or not, this is a suggested fast-forward scene. You see more of Diana then Jamie, they look like they are sunburned because the lighting is so red, and then he whispers "I love you" to her. If you do watch this one though and do not need a barf bag, then you are to be commended. Obviously she is pissed off in the next scene that Casserole interrupted them, but for some reason feels the need to take it out on Nikki. Fast-forward again through this next scene, really you won't miss much. Just make sure to stop when the "knife" turns out to be a comb - so you can see on the wall above Nikki's bed all the pictures taped up there of her and Jamie. (I always wondered about those shots that showed up in the magazines when the movie was released -there they are!) Now that Diana has clocked Nikki, you think she'd feel a bit better. Nope, she's mad a Jamie now. He's chasing her and she's yelling that they don't make any sense. Finally! I've been muttering that to myself since the butt scene. It sure would have been a much shorter movie if they had had a one night stand.

Jamie is now going to can Nikki from the band-which is what their scenes consisted of since we first saw her. You have permission to fast-forward again, only stopping after the guitar has been smashed by Jamie, so you can hear Nikki threaten to kick his ass. He asks why women are always telling him that. (Huh?) Anyway, she tells him it's because he's got the cutest one in the business. Ain't that right sista!

Now we are on to the famous getting coffee scene. We've had this discussion here before, no sense me rehashing it now. So now the Dad has died, Diana can't turn to Jamie for comfort, yadda yadda. The best part of the scene of Jamie & Diana strolling in the park is the wardrobe, so you can fast forward here, it makes no sense really. I stopped long enough to listen to Jamie tell Diana "If you're too scared to take a chance then I don't want it" only to check if he hits her this time. Nope, just the bench again. Damn, I keep wishing he'd just hit her instead. It'd give me some relief.

End of the movie, Jamie in concert. Love the outfit. Love Love Somebody (oh, spell check didn't like that sentence). What I also love is that Jamie leaves after an extremely short concert, he's not even sweating. Oh wait, now he is sweaty with wet hair when he's telling Owen off outside. Race to the airport in Casserole's car again, dry hair back on the head. They meet at the airport, she was coming back because she finally wizened up that she wasn't gonna get better sex in Europe -they kiss - the End. - Michelle P.