The [totally awesome!] life of Lynda Van der Klok: a love letter to P.J. Soles

By Ashley

I, like many other people participating in this blogathon, am totally enamored with P.J. Soles. There’s just something about her that is so charming and irresistible, despite the fact that a lot of the characters she portrays are very catty, overly perky, backbiting and condescendingly, unabashedly bitchy. It doesn’t matter; once you see that thick golden hair and that mischievous, toothy smile, she’s reeled you in and you’re a fan for life.  I’ve never met anyone who (if they know who P.J. Soles is) dislikes her and I never hope to.

It took me awhile to figure out what I wanted to concentrate on when I wrote this: should I just write about her and her awesomeness in general? Should I write about the first time I saw (and loved) her in Carrie? Should I finally do what’s long overdue and watch Rock ‘n’ Roll High School and talk about how she definitely should have been a lead actress more often? Should I take the less traveled path and write about some of her later work, maybe her part in Jawbreaker?  So many choices! Ultimately though, I decided to keep it simple—I’ve decided to do a visual analysis of her portrayal of Lynda from Halloween.

Lynda is Jamie Lee Curtis’s slightly bitchy, ultra-perky, self-indulgent friend who doesn’t understand why Curtis’s Laurie spends every weekend babysitting instead of getting drunk and hooking up. Soles is the wild child to Curtis’s straight lace, which means that she’s doomed from the start.

We first see Lynda as she and Laurie are leaving the school. Lynda is having a rapid one-sided conversation about cheerleading and makeup while Laurie looks uninterested. This is what strikes me as so amazing about P.J. Soles: even if the characters she plays are annoyingly vapid, backstabbing, or bitchy, she’s just so compelling as an actress that we like her—nay, love her—just as much as we do more pleasant characters.

As I grabbed screenshots for this post I realized that just watching isolated images of P.J. Soles from the movie makes it seem like an average high school flick, right up until the part where she gets the fuck strangled out of her. (I once saw an interview wherein P.J. Soles said that she milked her death for all it was worth so she would have more screen time, which is why we have the delightfully ridiculous continuing moans and gasps even after she’s been out of frame for like 30 seconds.) With that said, I now present:

Lynda Van der Klok: A Story in Pictures

And so there you have it! The life, loves, and death of Lynda Van der Klok. You were, like, totally awesome, Lynda. Totally RIP.

For more P.J Soles goodness check out the week long blogathon over at Day of the Woman!

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