What to say about this gem that has not been said before?
That it was written by Alan Parker, before he was recognized as a world famous screenwriter/director? And that even then, it is a movie that has unjustly remained without being re-released.
No, that's just theory. It is the feelings evoked that matter.
I watched this movie once, as it played in an Argentinian TV channel at a time when there were only 4 TV channels. I probably watched it because of a recommendation from my father, who during my forming years, had gained my respect for introducing me to Spielberg in films such as Close Encounters and Raider of the Lost Ark. My guess is that I was probably about the same age of the main characters when I sat in front of the set.
I remember also the following day at school, as all the boys and girls that had watched it would whisper about it. Girls would probably whisper if it could happen to them, too... if those stupid boys would wise up one day. We boys... we were not willing to admit we had seen and liked a "love" story -- a chick film. As such, we had to make fun of it. But deep down, all of us could tell... we could tell when we looked at each others' eyes that we were lying. That this movie had told perhaps our own story of first love and touched us in a way perhaps no one else had before, in a way we would not forget, we could not forget.
I am 33 now, I grew to work in the TV and film industry both in Argentina and abroad and have watched literally thousands of films since. It is a testament to this film that after watching it only once, I not only remember the film fondly, but that some scenes are still etched in my mind: The Frere Jacques scene as the two main characters talk about how they feel.... a scene that has no dialog, and it is just played with music and visual narration. The farcical view on authority and that funny ending, which could be called a teenage The Graduate.
...You must have once been in love, and you must have once been a child.
I hadn't realized anyone else had seen this film, nor that it had such a similar impact on everybody. I first saw this film when I was a child growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada. It would play on the afternoon "Movie with Gus", some local show that picked up movies in syndication. I may have been 10 or 12 years old. I loved it immediately. I could identify with the pain of both lovers, and the friend. It's such a universal story that it rises above the cultural, class, and period distinctions.
I remember staying up to watch the movie again at 1:00 AM. Then when it was repeated on the weekend. From that point on, I made it a weekly ritual to scan through the television guide to see if Melody was on that week. In those days they must have had a pretty set schedule of syndication because, you could count on the film making the rounds again. But with the rise of cable television and video, the movie vanished from the schedule. (Now you have a hundred channels offering identical content on different timetables.)
Years later I found the film on VHS (literally jumped up and down in the store) and proceeded to rent it repeatedly to show to my friends. Everyone who saw it, even as adults, loved it. I found the soundtrack a few years back as a Japanese import. I've searched for the VHS copy everywhere since. There must have been thousands of VHS copies at one time, which have probably all been dumped. I consider myself a cinephile, but with this I'd accept a tenth-generation copy just to have it again. The beauty of this film is in it's performances.
Alan Parker, who co-wrote Melody, revisited the themes again in his later films, which always seem to include a sub-theme of unrequited love. I wonder to this day if Alan Parker has any fondness for this film, or if he sees it as something of a freshman work.
I seldom take time to comment on the Internet. However, this movie deserves much more than my time since I have such wonderful memories of it. Maybe this is because I watched it at the right time in my life. I must have been about 11 years old. I loved the movie so much and I think you will too. If you have kids, or are a kid, you (they) will enjoy it all the more. I believe that we all experience that "love at first sight" that lifts you from earth and makes you walk on clouds. This is what this movie so beautifully replicates. Enjoy it! Just like your first "puppy love," you will always treasure it!