Like certain actors, some houses just have that “it” factor. Case in point? A handsome residence situated on a leafy street in South Pasadena that boasts such a prolific film and television resume, it rivals that of most movie stars! American Foursquare in style, the pad is a definite classic and has become one of the city’s most oft-shot spots, which is a true feat considering the sunny SoCal burg is a virtual bastion of filming activity, hosting more than 300 days of production each year!
Awash with Anywhere, U.S.A. allure and a plethora of curb appeal, it is no surprise the charming structure has become popular with filmmakers, most notably popping up as the home of KHEY radio manager Doug Simpson (Tony Danza) and his two daughters, Katie (Ami Dolenz) and Bonnie (Laura Mooney), in the 1989 comedy “She’s Out of Control.” Currently streaming on Amazon Prime, the coming-of-age story opens with Katie undergoing a staggering makeover, transforming from a bookish 15-year-old with coke bottle glasses and a mouth full of braces into a stunning swan with golden locks and an enviable wardrobe favoring white bubble skirts and thigh-highs. (The fab attire was fashioned courtesy of costume designer Marie France, who also collaborated on the 1984 rock musical “Purple Rain” and the pilot episode of Fox megahit “Beverly Hills, 90210.”) It does not take long for boys to take note of Katie’s metamorphosis, of course, and to come calling in droves, much to the chagrin of Doug, who spends the remainder of the movie virtually unraveling at the seams as he attempts to protect his daughter from various local lotharios.
Critics did not exactly laud the comedy. Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel were especially biting, with Siskel claiming watching it caused him to become “so depressed I actually thought about quitting my job as a film critic, feeling as though the movies had abandoned me.” Ebert, who included the production on his Most Hated list, similarly espoused, “A movie like this is a crime because what it does is it robs life from people by requiring them to spend two hours having such a terrible experience.” Ouch!
Those who grew up in the ‘80s weren’t nearly as dismissive. As a quick search for #shesoutofcontrol across social media proves, the film still holds a special place in the hearts of many viewers of a certain age, who can still be found lauding its merits on Instagram, Facebook and the like. In fact, I challenge you to find any Gen Xer who didn’t regularly attempt to reenact Katie’s big makeover reveal on the staircase of their own home with the strains of Frankie Avalon’s 1959 hit “Venus” playing in the background.
As such, the Simspon family home remains a beloved location for “She’s Out of Control” fans everywhere.