On John Hughes Movies, Society, and Aging.

You know you’re getting old when the movies you loved as a teenager don’t measure up to the society you live in on a daily basis.  I resent this on a certain level, but then again, I am no longer fourteen, and I’m pretty glad of that.

Cruising around today listening to “In Your Eyes”,  it occurred to me (not for the first time) that Lloyd Dobler is better in the imagination than in reality. I’m all for love, but a guy whose only ambition is to love you, who will follow you to college just to love you, who only thinks of being with you, is not really a good candidate for a healthy relationship.  He’s actually a stalker. But there was no stalking in the Eighties, was there?  No, there was just Lloyd and his ghetto blaster on the front lawn,  skewing the whole idea of romantic love for us girls, and being damn hard  for boys to live up to.

Then there’s Sixteen Candles. God, social norms have  moved beyond this movie! Apparently, I am not yet so ossified in my own little world that what I see stands any kind of test of time. The racism? I cringe when they say Bohunk and Chinaman. Also, the shower scene where Molly Ringwald and friend scrutinize the Hot Girl’s body? That’s an Eighties body. She has an acceptable percentage of body fat and her breasts are only a B, and unaugmented.  That body would never be considered hot today.  She’d be told to lose fifteen pounds and load up on silicone.  Also,  Molly Ringwald’s famously ‘bee stung’ lips  look lovely and natural compared to the lips on the socialite/starlets of today.

There’s a ton more analysis I could do, but that’s what I’ve got right now.

9 Comments to “On John Hughes Movies, Society, and Aging.”

  1. By Gecko Bloggle, June 23, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

    My fave cringeworthy moment in Sixteen Candles?

    The “Here: drive my passed-out girlfriend home. She’s so drunk she won’t know it’s not me.”

    That guy? He was the fucking LOVE INTEREST in that movie.

    Ducky for the win.

  2. By Liz, June 24, 2009 @ 9:32 am

    Well, exactly. At that point his girlfriend had invited the popular kids to his house for a party and had revealed herself to be shallow and status-obsessed. So naturally he handed her off to a stranger to deal with.

  3. By Stephanie, June 24, 2009 @ 9:33 am

    I know what you mean. If you take the movie out of Say Anything, you have yourself a case for a restrainging order.

    Also, I saw some old 80s movie with Melanie Griffiths and she was changing so there was a moment when she was in her underwear. Like, she has a good body, but there was visible cellulite and “fat.” You would never see that on an actress today, nor, probably, would you see it on Melanie Griffiths today.

  4. By Duncan, June 24, 2009 @ 10:14 am

    I remember that movie with Christian Slater and Marisa Tomei called Untamed Heart. He plays the semi-mute awkward dishwasher in the restaurant where she works as a server. One morning, she wakes up to find a christmas tree in her room. He had successfully crept into her room through her window while she was sleeping and left her a christmas tree at the foot of her bed.

    She, of course, is totally touched and not freaked out. Her heart swells with how amazing that is.

    I was totally amazed that she didn’t scream her guts out and that the movie didn’t descend into a horror film after that.

    There are MILLIONS of ‘not in real life’ romance movies out there. Today as well. It wasn’t just the 80s.

  5. By Liz, June 24, 2009 @ 1:15 pm

    Stephanie, I think you’re right. Melanie Griffiths is a prime example, too. Career-wise, she’s seen a gradual shift in what’s considered sexy. She is also getting older and there are fewer good parts for actresses who have been labeled sexy in the past, but now are considered too old to be hot.(WTF?!) Even though she looks freaking amazing.

    Duncan, I have that movie (Emma made me take it home and wouldn’t take it back. Even when I hid it in her house several times). He also thinks he has a baboon’s heart or something, right? Yeah. He was stalker material as well, but that was apparently vindicated because he stopped those thugs from raping her that one time. Sheesh! And yeah, there’s a lot of implausibility in movies. That’s sort of the point of a lot of them, and I love them for it.

  6. By rachel, June 24, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

    Creepy stalkers? You mean like EDWARD in TWILIGHT?? 😉

    The song “In Your Eyes” didn’t particularly make an impression on me in “Say Anything” (nor did the movie itself), but I later came to love the song on my own. THEN I saw that clip from the movie and it was like, oh, OH! Goddamnit! That’s MY song, assweenies!

    Unfortunately, I didn’t see most of the movies aimed at my age and sex in the 80s. I saw comedies and SF, when I saw anything. BUT, I did see the Breakfast Club. And felt sad that nerdboy didn’t get to hook up with anybody…

  7. By Liz, June 24, 2009 @ 10:53 pm

    Yes, like Edward. But he brings it to a whole new level. I can’t think of any supernatural 80s stalkers. And I always felt sad for poor little Brian as well. The message was clear: Everybody but nerds gets love. How unfair is that?! Then again, that was Anthony Michael Hall’s role in the 80’s. He just never hooked up with anyone in any movie. I wonder if John Hughes paid his therapy bills throughout the 90s.

  8. By Robin, June 26, 2009 @ 9:32 am

    Did we forget about Lost Boys??? Although, not really stalkeresque, but creepy just the same.

    Don’t forget how much fun those old John Hughes movies were. Uncle Buck is still a classic.

    I will always heart John Cusak no matter how old I get.

  9. By fran, June 27, 2009 @ 4:12 pm

    Love John Cusack too. And The Breakfast Club is a favorite movie, for sure. Just watched Heathers again the other day. Christian Slater is a sexy weirdo. Lost Boys is a good one too. Ahh, the 80’s, when I didn’t watch most of these movies…I waited until the 90’s.

    Thanks for your blog Liz. I always enjoy reading and often get a good laugh too.

Bad Behavior has blocked 11 access attempts in the last 7 days.


Warning: Use of undefined constant is_single - assumed 'is_single' (this will throw an Error in a future version of PHP) in /home/gecko/public_html/liz/wp-content/plugins/wp-stattraq/stattraq.php on line 67