Ok am back at the blogface after a brief hiatus… And this week my focus is on that awesome decade of stone washed jeans, leg warmers and ridiculously big perms…yup, the 1980s. The decade I grew up in (well that and the 90s – am not that old yet). So the other month, I was so sad to see the Globe & Mail news alert flash up on my phone about the death of legendary 80s actor/director Harold Ramis. So much so, I stopped mid-convo and had to share my sudden sadness with the person I was having coffee with – it was a ‘semi-business’ meeting so maybe not entirely appropriate, but I still continued to share my woes and explain what an awesome film Ghostbusters is and how it was a huge part of my childhood. Then only this week, I saw the below post about another truly coming-of-age 80s movie, The Breakfast Club. Yup, that was thirty, yes 3-0 years ago chaps…can’t quite believe it.
Ok, so even if I was four and five respectively when these films came out, and maybe some people are not avid film fans like me. But still, if you were born in the early 80s, Ghostbusters and The Breakfast Club have to be up there as some of the best. My father even mentioned my obsession with ‘Busters (as me and my sis tend to refer to it) in his wedding speech. Because at the age of about seven, I could recite the entire dialogue of each scene. So much so, I have irritated my husband numerous times by spouting out the lines even before Venkman or Ray have said them.
Ahh Bill Murray. Another absolute legend. I was however sad to see he didn’t really respond to Harold Ramis’s death, apart from a very sanitary statement courtesy of his lawyers. Fellow cast members Dan Akroyd and Rick Moranis took to the media and voiced their sadness, along with a host of other celebs. But then Mr Murray did actually redeem himself by speaking about good old Harold during the Oscars when he went up to present an award. I have to say that ‘Busters is probably in my top five favourite films of all time. Why? Because it reminds me of an awesome childhood and is a film that I share with my sister and my Dad. We’ve watched the films countless times (along with the sequel ‘Busters II) and the comedy one-liners in the film are a solid part of our family vernacular. You can often hear father Cox (or simply ‘JC’ as we like to call him), asking “Oh ok who brought the dog” or “Well ok I’m gonna have a shower”. If you are not a Busters fan you will think this is all rather nuts. It also has to do with the fact that the setting of the film is New York City. Another absolute love of mine. Lots of my family holidays spent in this amazing city due to JC working there throughout the late 80s and 90s. You can imagine my delight, when in ‘Busters II Venkman, Egon, Stance and Winston took to the Statue of Liberty, brought her alive, and strutted her down 5th Ave in order to fight off the ghouls, the pink slime and that bald headed/half mulleted Carpathian freak who sprang forth from the painting. And it was all done to the tune of Jackie Wilson’s ‘You’re Love is Lifting Me Higher’. Honestly it’s the work of 80s comedy genius.
Now onto The Breakfast Club. I am incredulous when I meet friends of a similar age who have yet to see this film. Our obsession started when my sister played the Molly Ringwald charter ‘Claire’ as part of her GCSE drama project. As you can imagine hours were spent with her practising how to perfect her pout by applying lippy via her boobs, (if you’ve seen the film you’ll know what I mean). The Breakfast Club really is another classic as it takes all the stereotypes of school kids (the jock, the bad ass, the popular girl, the freak and the geek) and throws them together on a Saturday morning dentition. What plays out are brilliant scenes of teenage angst and awkwardness with habitual discussions about popping one’s cherry, who’s still a virgin and a good old session of weed smoking – another teenage experience prerequisite. Despite the decade, you’ll love it, and apart from the clothing, the movie could be about any era. After all, each one of us has been through it and can relate. Were you the Prom Queen Princess or the nerd I wonder?
This then got me thinking about all the many other comedy films of the 80s bygone era. Films I grew up with and ones that have those classic one-liners and are the subject of discussion during many nights out with friends – with usually some drinking involved. However, there has been the odd occasion when a certain 80s classic film is mentioned and someone in the group hasn’t seen it. There’s usually an outburst with shrieks of disbelief such as “What? Where the hell have you been?” and “How could you have NOT seen it?” Films can of course define a decade, or an era in time and some of the below 80s movies definitely define an era I grew up in and are some of my absolute faves.
So here is my Top 10 List that you might want to refer to next time you find yourself in on a Friday night, poring over Netflix or the Apple TV offerings…from vampires to aliens, to time travel and yet more teenage angst, give one of these a go and you’re bound to be in for one hell of an 80s treat.
1. Ghostbusters – “Let’s show this prehistoric bitch how do things downtown”
2. The Breakfast Club – “Each one of us is a brain…and an athlete…and a basket case…a princess…and a criminal. Does that answer your question? Sincerely yours, the Breakfast Club”
3. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – ” You fake a stomach cramp, and when you’re bent over, moaning and wailing, you lick your palms. It’s a little childish and stupid, but then, so is high school”
4. The Goonies – “First you gotta do the Truffle Shuffle”
5. Back to the Future – “Whoa. Wait a minute, Doc. Are you trying to tell me that my mother has got the hots for me?”
6. Stand by Me – “Do you think Mighty Mouse could beat up Superman?”
7. The Karate Kid – “Wax on, wax off”
8. E.T. – “I’ll… be… right… here”
9. The Lost Boys – “Great! The Bloodsucking Brady Bunch!”
10. Big – “Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop. Shimmy, shimmy, rock. Shimmy, shimmy, cocoa pop. Shimmy, shimmy, rock…”