What’s Happenin’, Hot Stuff?
It’s Throwback Thursday, and I’m hankering for some of the movies I loved from the 80s. Maybe it’s because I was an impressionable teen and so many of these really hit home. Or maybe I just identified with Molly Ringwold’s typical pouty heroine. Or maybe I’m just sad my subscription to Teen Beat has expired. Regardless, the 80s teen movies had a je ne sais quois which subsequent generations will never fully understand. (“They just don’t understand me!” – said in my best angsty teen voice 😉
Using my all-time favorite, “Sixteen Candles,” as an example, let’s look at some of the things that make the 80s what they were. I stumbled upon an article on VH1.com which also talks about this movie, and brings up some interesting points. Click here for that article, or just read on for my own take:
- 80s teen movies seemed more real life. Teen movies from the 90s and on just seem more… polished. Not that they are any more professional in their creation, but the characters in them seem more Hollywoodized (yep, that’s a word… in my book anyway). Characters from the 80s teen movies look like the director told the actors, “You know, just…wear whatever’s in your closet.” Their closet could have been my closet!
- It wasn’t just the pretty people versus the ugly. Or the cool versus the uncool. Rich versus poor. They all had characteristics I could relate to, even if I would not have been counted amongst their circle of friends in real life. And, if the 80s were really like the teen-parents-are-out-let’s-party scene from “Sixteen Candles,” then pretty much anyone could hang out without getting hassled or mocked. Just don’t knock over their beer can tower.
- They lacked the witty/sarcastic quip. So much of television today, especially teen-driven shows, rely on heavy sarcasm, the quick quip, the spoken “gotcha.” The adult figures in the 80s were not made to look like doofuses… even if they had their faults. The crises situations felt real, not overly exaggerated.
O.M.G. I just became that person, didn’t I? That person who thinks the things from their generation are so much better, interesting, meaningful, etc. I’m not saying teen movies since then aren’t good or funny or meaningful (hello, “Clueless” and “Super Bad”!), I’m just comparing, and finding that those 80s movies still have merit.
And not every child of the 80s feels the same way… my hubby has never even seen “Sixteen Candles” (gasp!) and prefers “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (which I didn’t even see until we’d been married for years). And I’ll be honest, a lot of the 80s fashion is something we’d all like to forget about. But then again, it sure makes for some funny memes!
Name some of your favorite 80s teen movies.