80’s Movies You Should Check Out
The 80’s has become increasingly popular due to the rise of shows like Stranger Things but I have one issue about these kinds of shows: they’re not actually filmed in the 80’s. It’s a really different experience to see the shoulder pads, curly hair, and the iconic Nike sneakers in the prime of their time. These shows are the equivalent to hearing your friend tell you about an event you didn’t go to; you get the gist of what happened but you weren’t actually there. If you love 80’s fashion and music, I highly recommend watching movies from that time. Without further ado, here are some 80’s movies that I think you should check out.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1987)
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
This movie is a really fun watch filled with pranks and jokes that are just as funny today as they were back then. Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) is a high school senior who decides to skip school and drag his best friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) and his girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) with him in order to have the best day of their lives. I found Cameron to be the most relatable character with actual character development and tangible problems. Ferris, on the other hand, is completely juvenile and the writers didn’t give Sloane hardly any lines or even a personality. Thus, this movie is definitely more action-driven than character-driven. Ferris’ sister Jeannie (Jennifer Grey, the leading actress in Dirty Dancing) fortunately saves the day with her witty comments and insults.
The movie features some great slang words and sayings like “It’s so choice”, “You’re nailed” and my personal favorite: “Go piss up a flagpole”. They are awfully cringy and amazing at the same time. However, there is something that exists in many older movies such as this one: sexism and racism. It’s really hard to watch these moments but we have to remember that they were filmed almost 30 years ago. We can only take note of the things that we would do differently, and try to act better.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
“I swear to God, this has got to be a joke. Grandparents forgetting a birthday? They live for that shit.”
This movie is a true 80’s classic. It features Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall who co-starred in the classic The Breakfast Club (1985), a movie that is a lot more well known. However, in my opinion, Sixteen Candles is funnier and has more heart-warming moments. Samantha Baker’s (Molly Ringwald) family forgets about her birthday in the midst of her sister’s wedding preparations. She goes to the school dance hoping she’ll make an impression on Jake Ryan (Michael Schoeffling), the most popular guy in school.
Since this is a pretty run-off-the-mill teen movie, nothing that groundbreaking happens. The movie tries to be different by introducing a Chinese exchange student Long Duk Dong (Gedde Watanabe) but the character doesn’t bring anything other than racism to the dialogue. If you’re willing to look past the racial stereotypes, the movie offers some truly iconic moments and Molly Ringwald at the height of her fame.
St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)
“Do you ever feel like you’re not accomplishing anything at all?”
“I think I’m in touch with that emotion.”
The movie follows seven friends as they try to navigate their lives after college graduation. The characters face issues such as independence, obsessive crushes, drug use, and responsibility. As they battle with their jobs and apartments, they lean on each other for support. The cast includes iconic 80’s actors like Demi Moore, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy from Pretty In Pink (1986) and three actors from The Breakfast Club.
Since the movie is focused on recent college graduates, their problems are much more mature than the issues of Ferris Bueller, for example. The plot is genuinely relatable to college students and recent grads who understand the uncertainty of life after high school and college. The movie is not as funny as the other ones but the endearing and charismatic characters make up for it. I couldn’t help but notice similarities between Andrew McCarthy’s character Kevin and Chandler from Friends. Both are funny, sarcastic and afraid of commitment. Since Chandler is my favorite character in Friends, I fell in love with Kevin’s character in no time.
Can’t Buy Me Love (1987)
“Come on, a lady doesn’t talk.”
“Yeah, next time I see one I’ll remember that.”
This might be my favourite 80’s teen movie of all time. It’s one of those movies where the nerdy boy is paired with the gorgeous, out-of-his-league cheerleader and there’s usually some sort of make-over involved. Similar movies include 10 Things I Hate About You (1999) and the gender-flipped version of this trope The DUFF (2015). In Can’t Buy Me Love Ronald Miller (Patrick Dempsey aka Dr. Dreamy) wants to become popular and gets the chance of a lifetime when his crush Cindy Mancini (Amanda Peterson) agrees to be his fake-girlfriend for a month.
The movie is adorable, funny and filled with great quotes. The plot is a bit cheesy and predictable but that’s what makes these kinds of movies so comforting to watch. If you’ve seen Easy A, you will recognize the lawnmower scene at the end of Can’t Buy Me Love since this is the movie they’re referencing to in Easy A. Another great thing about the movie is that it has some of the best fashion moments in all of 80’s teen movies. Everything Cindy Mancini wears deserves a front page in the Vogue. Additionally, this movie has the strongest soundtrack including great songs like “One Lover At A Time” by Atlantic Star, “One For The Mockingbird” by Cutting Crew and “Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol. On a more serious note, the movie discusses some really important topics, such as popularity, the value of money, bullying, and slut-shaming.