Francis Ford Coppola’s son Roman Coppola produced and co-wrote the story for this fun, low-budget time-travel comedy, shot in the Bay Area. Directed and co-written by Lucas Reiner (Rob Reiner’s son), The Spirit of ‘76 (1990) starts with a great idea. In the future, the year 2176, Americans decide that they need to time-travel back to 1776 to gather long-missing copies of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, so they can be put to use once again. But a mistake is made and they wind up in 1976, on the Fourth of July, instead. It’s mostly ridiculous, but it’s also lightweight and quite likable.
Several stars of the era were cast, including David Cassidy, Leif Garrett, and Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald V. Casale of the band Devo. The adorable Olivia d’Abo (not from the 1970s) was the female lead. Carl Reiner, Rob Reiner, Jeff and Steve McDonald (of the band Redd Kross), Moon Unit Zappa, Tommy Chong, Julie Brown, Don Novello, and others also appear. The soundtrack features an appropriate collection of 1970s tunes, some classic, many cheesy.