Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Wonder of '80's Teen Movies

Yesterday's post got me thinking about the wonder that is the '80's Teen Flick. I consider myself lucky that my entire formative years were spent in the '80's. I'm old enough to remember some of the '70's, but the '80's are ingrained in my memory. I graduated from high school in 1989 which is kind of symbolic; when the '80's ended, so did the "fun" part of life. One of the things that made the '80's great were the movies. The teen movie was practically a separate genre unto itself. The beauty of the teen movies in the '80's was that they always featured a common theme - unpopular outcast guy ends up with a girl he had no business being with in the end. In between, there was always the requisite party scene where the house gets trashed, the adolescent sexual hijinx, a poor little rich kid, and there was usually some kind of moral message that elevated the film above the mindless drivel that it might have become otherwise.

To that end, I've decided to list my 10 favorite teen flicks from the '80's. I've already covered one of them - The Last American Virgin - in my previous blog entry. Here are the other nine, in no particular order:

Fast Times at Ridgemont High - An all time classic. Many famous '80's actors got their start in this one, such as Anthony Edwards, Eric Stoltz and Nicholas Cage. And the Phoebe Cates-red bikini scene may well have been the defining moment of '80's pop culture.

Better Off Dead - Just when you thought Diane Franklin couldn't get any hotter, she comes back as a French exchange student. This is one of the most quotable movies of the '80's.

The Breakfast Club - The best of John Hughes' considerable repetoire.

Sixteen Candles - Anthony Michael Hall became a legend to nerds everywhere in this one.

Risky Business - The movie that put Tom Cruise on the map.

Just One of the Guys - "All balls itch! It's a fact!"

Can't Buy Me Love - Patrick Dempsey is the male version of Diane Franklin. It seems like he was in every teen movie made in the '80's.

Porky's - Another all time classic. What adolescent boy could ever forget that shower scene?

Valley Girl - Most people have forgotten about this one. But any movie that features the song "I Melt With You" has to have a place on this list.

There you have it. There are certainly alot of others that I could put on this list, but I think these were probably my favorite. Feel free to weigh in with yours...



Dutched Pinay on Expatriation said...

hey have seen better of dead, sixteen candles, cant buy me love, porkys... and i think i have seen the others... cant remember already lol. its been almost 20 years! im so old hahaha

what was that film with molly ringwald?

when i watch teenage movies now (usually american hollywood stuff), it just doesnt sink in. it has become corny. maybe because im getting old. my tastes has change.

Rik said...

J - Molly Ringwald was in 16 Candles & The Breakfast Club.

I have the same problem with alot of the new generation of teen flicks. Some of them are good, but some of them I don't even make it all the way through before turning it off.

BTW - My DVD arrived in the mail today, so I can't wait to get home...this thing is burning a hole in my bag!!!!!!

Ed Abbey said...

Wow! What a list that brings back memories and all of them great! Here are a couple of my additions:

Ferris Bueller's Day Off - The expression on the parking attendents face as they were jumping the car is still etched clearly into my brain.

St. Elmo's Fire - That is maybe a little too deep to be classified as a teen movie but it was a defining film for a lot of actors also kind of like "The Breakfast Club."

Rik said...

Ed - Right on dude, those 2 were great. I love it when they ask the parking attendant if he speaks English and he goes "What the hell country you think this is man?". That was priceless. St Elmo's Fire, while deep indeed, is a great movie and you're right, it did sort of launch the whole Brat Pack phenomenon. Who could forget the title song by John Parr (he of "Naught Naughty" fame)?


Peeved Michelle said...

Ah, a walk down memory lane. My absolute favorite teen flick of the '80s didn't make your list. It is Say Anything. Of the more recent teen films, one that seems to fit the '80s formula is Save the Last Dance (formerly rich white girl moves to the black ghetto).

A friend of mine used to live in Vicenza. She was a Brit and met her U.S. Army husband there.

Anonymous said...

If I were to list my fav 80s teen flicks, I would have to include those "Eskimo Limon" series from Israel (remember "Lemon Popsicle"?)which were incidentally produced by the same Israeli duo (Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus). I used to skip classes just to watch these with my friends...bad girl!

G said...

Brat Pack is ok, with the sole exception of Molly Ringwald, I cant stand her!!!! yuck!

Ferris Bueller's Day Off was one of my favorites, as well the breakfast club.

Mary stuart masterson, in Somekind of Wonderful..."break his heart and I'll break your face"

dont know if Chances Are with Robert Downey Jr. counts as a Teen Flick.

Dutched Pinay on Expatriation said...

notice 1 thing? we all seem to be right on the same age bracket!

Rik said...

Micelle - "Say Anything" wasd another of my favorites that I considered putting on here, but I just couldn't pull the trigger. So I'm glad someone mentioned it as it is a great movie. In fact, I may have to bump oneof my other ones to add that one. John Cusack was my favorite actors for alot of years.

Anon - While I do have an affinity for foreign films, I have t oadmit that I've never heard of those that you mentioned, sorry.

G - Virginia and I recently borrowed "Some Kind Of Wonderful" from the library so I could relive the magic. I'd forgotten how good it was. The guy who played the leather-clad skin head guy actually has been in several other famous things too. And Leah Thompson briefly held "it" status in the '80's as well. I remember when she bared her breasts in "All the Right Moves" (W/ Tom Cruise) was a dream come true for at least one adolescent boy! Men are such pigs.

Mrs Frivolity said...

What?! No Pretty in Pink, Footloose and the best one of all Scott Baio's Zapped ????!!!!