Jay McInerney provided the screenplay adaptation of his one-hit-wonder first novel. The movie stars Michael J. Fox as a disaffected fact checker and wannabe writer who gets caught up in the ’80s coke scene. Then-bad boy Kiefer Sutherland and Phoebe Cates complete the triumvirate of ’80s powerhouse casting.

McInerney tries really hard to be the Fitzgerald of the Reagan era, and certainly there are many parallels between the decades. But the script is heavy handed and not all that compelling. The biggest crime is master cinematographer Gordon Willis reduced to photographing garish nightclub scenes.

Still, on a purely anthropological level, it provides some perverse pleasure. The film is the definition of a time capsule.

McInerney and Willis provide commentary tracks.

Grade: C+

Bright Lights, Big City (Special Edition) is currently available.