Viking Night: Who's That Girl?

By Bruce Hall

July 9, 2013

Madonna would find herself linked with the cougar again, later in life.

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Believe it or not, there once lived a woman even more fearsome than Oprah. Madonna ­ the same one who almost fell off the stage at Super Bowl XLVI ­ was at one time a pop star at the height of her fame. And she was at a career crossroads, just shy of her 30th birthday. She really wanted to be an actress, and up to this point had dabbled in the thespian arts with mixed results. Major roles in Desperately Seeking Susan and Shanghai Surprise were respectively met with modest praise, and well earned scorn. Still hoping to ride her white hot supernova of fame into a film career, Madonna's next attempt was not quite Susan enough, and a little heavy on the Shanghai.

It's a standard, off-the-shelf rom­com plot ­ a spineless schmuck with a heart of gold is about to marry into a family of domineering monsters. It's hard to see how the two even met, let alone dated long enough to fall in love, or even finish a single sexual act to completion. The schmuck in question is attorney Louden Trott (Griffin Dunne), who is about to marry a wealthy but intolerable shrew named Wendy Worthington (Haviland Morris). Wendy's father Simon is one of the most powerful patriarchs in America, and of course nothing is quite good enough for his little girl. So, Louden spends the days leading up to the wedding being emasculated by Wendy and performing menial tasks for his disapproving future father in law. He looks set to spend his remaining years a withered husk of a man, with nothing ahead but lobster, champagne and ­ maybe ­ the Missionary position once a month.

If only a quirky stranger would come into his life and show him how to live again!


Enter Nikki Finn (Madonna), a spunky ex con who's just finished a seven year stretch after being framed for a murder she didn't commit. Plucky as a five year old on Christmas Eve, Nikki is bound and determined to clear her name, even if it means breaking every other law on the books to do so. For reasons that are never entirely clear or convincing, Louden is tasked by Team Worthington to escort Nikki from New York to Philadelphia, where she's scheduled to meet with her parole officer. Also, Louden has to pick up a cougar for some reason ­ and no, I don't mean Madonna and no, I am not making that up.

Being the wallflower he is, it isn't long before Louden finds himself in the passenger seat with a convicted (but innocent) killer at the wheel, and a fluffy, 200 pound murder machine in the back seat.

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