Desperately Seeking Susan : What does Roberta find so fascinating about Susan anyway?

What does Roberta find so fascinating about Susan anyway?

Okay, bored housewife going down to Battery Park to spy on a couple in the personal ads. Kind of romantic, if you're an extremely bored housewife in 1985 with no internet.

But once she got down there, what was the mystery? Oh, just a couple of low-lives who hook up now and then. Why did she want to keep following her around afterwards?

Roberta's a weirdo who really needs a hobby.

Re: What does Roberta find so fascinating about Susan anyway?

Roberta is in a dull marriage. She's a great looking woman, but her husband looks at her the way he'd look at a plate of leftover chicken. Yeah, he'd eat it, but he's not excited about it. Yeah, she's his wife and he'll have sex with her, but it's not something to get excited about.

She feels unappreciated and doesn't understand why.

The word that attracts her in those ads is "Desperately." This guy doesn't just want to meet this Susan. He's desperate to see her. And Roberta reads this with fascination and wants to know, "What does this woman have that would make a man desperate to see her?" Becuase, you know, Roberta wants to feel that way again, that a guy could be desperate for her.

If a guy is desperate for you, then you must be sexy and desirable and full of life. Right now, that's how Roberta wants to feel (but doesn't). So she wants to figure out what that life force is within Susan because that's what she's lost and wants to get back in herself.

Re: What does Roberta find so fascinating about Susan anyway?

Ahhh. You're very perceptive.

Re: What does Roberta find so fascinating about Susan anyway?

Well said mikeclaw, I couldn't have said it better myself.

Re: What does Roberta find so fascinating about Susan anyway?

Bored Roberta finds Susan and Jim in the newspaper regularly, "deperately" trying to find each other. It becomes like a soap opera to Roberta as she keeps tabs on where they've been (based on their ads to each other in the paper). So her interest is not very different from the rest of us who might watch a tv show regularly and keep up with the characters.

Roberta tells Leslie "Now they're here in New Yorkdesperate. God, I love that word!"

So, she goes to have a peek at the 'stars' of her newspaper soap opera. She never intends to get involved in their lives. That happens by accident when Nolan mistakes her for Susan.

Remember at Battery Park, the first woman she looks at is a very middle-class looking woman (who is then greeted by her husband and child)? Roberta's frame of reference is so limited, that to her, THAT plain, normal woman might be the wild Susanbut it fits so much better when we see the *striking* image of Susan striking a match on her heel, dressed in a more rock-star manner.

Susan looks so interesting that Roberta follows her, only to vicariously live a non-boring day in Susan's shoes (without ever intending to have real contact with Susan.)She buys Susan's jacket and that is ALMOST enough to take her into another world, until Gary demeans the (to him) strange purchase.

Roberta throws the jacket over a chair, ALMOST throwing out her soap opera fantasy, when the magic key falls from its pocket.

The key brings Roberta into Susan's non-boring world! Thus, we have a story!

And you're so right about the boredom of life without the internet! I know because I lived it!

"Have a Romy & Michelle day!"

Re: What does Roberta find so fascinating about Susan anyway?

Wow Hinda, you really nailed it.
And yes, I recall the pre-Internet days too b/c I lived them too.

THAT aspect of the pre-Internet days, i.e. boredom, is one thing I sure don't miss from back then!

Re: What does Roberta find so fascinating about Susan anyway?

Hinda totally nailed it clap.gif.

I can see why Roberta would want to follow Susan aroundonce she saw her, she already knew that Susan was a wild one because of the personal messages back and forth between her and Jimmy, and so she was already idolizing her; she wanted to be Susan or at least be like her and live her exciting life. Following her around the city was like doing research

I guess Roberta was kinda like a stalker but not a dangerous one. Funny, but I feel like Roberta now. roll2.gif

But'cha Y'Are, Blanche! Y'Are In That Chair!

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Re: What does Roberta find so fascinating about Susan anyway?

You definitely hit the nail on the head, BUT I take offense at the "boredom of life without the Internet." I grew up in those days, too, and I'm sorry, but it wasn't boring. I read, painted, went OUT with friends (and actually TALKED to them), did all kinds of things I don't do now that I have Internet.

I actually rather miss those days when life was actually more creative and fun, and people actually SOCIALIZED more, instead of meeting people and everyone sitting at a dinner table, texting someone else, instead of holding a conversation with the people they're at the table with, or watching 90% of people at other tables with people of their own, but ignoring each other in favor of texting other people or watching T.V. on their phones or videos or playing games. If that was what I wanted to do, I could stay home and do that. Why go out with people to a restaurant or wherever, just to ignore each other?! THAT is what's boring!


Re: What does Roberta find so fascinating about Susan anyway?

I couldn't have said it any better. I also always saw the scene where Roberta throws the jacket over the chair like 'this was it and why did I buy that jacket in a stupid impulse', but then there's the key!!!

God, I love this movie.

Also funny to mention is that in highschool I was someone's Susan. I'm a guy and was 15 in 1995. As a huge Madonna fan I was dressed in tanktops, always wore a crucifix and a peace-sign necklace and punk clad jeans and a jacket with skulls on it and all of a sudden there was this guy who dressed like me. I assumed he was gay and even made a move for him, but sadly he just liked my style. But it was fun to feel like Susan.

Re: What does Roberta find so fascinating about Susan anyway?

Good post, Hinda.

As much as I love the Internet (especially for shopping & research for college!), I would trade it all to have the '80s back again.

I miss that decade all the time. All the time.

I'd say this cloud is Cumulo Nimbus.
Didn't he discover America?
Penfold, shush.