Sunday, 19 July 2015

80s throwback

I pretty much live my life in the 80s so to call this a throwback is a little misleading. However, I flew to New York for two days earlier this week for work. Nothing exciting about it, I was in New Jersey in all day meetings and then back to the airport. I flew Delta. My experience of American airlines is they have terrible lounges, they give you ALL the food in the world but they have great old movies on the inflight entertainment.

I found myself idly flicking through the options and decided to watch Moonstruck. I've not seen it since it was released in 1987. I had little hope of it actually being any good and I was utterly charmed. It's a very slight story but Cher and Nicolas Cage are wonderful.

I used to have a crush on Nicolas Cage and it was 99% down to his performance in this.  He's all muscly, sweaty and cute. (1% for Wild At Heart - snakeskin jacket). The shots of New York and Cher being all mousey only to become a goddess after having sex with her fiance's brother. It's truly a delight and worth rewatching if you've not seen it for a while.

Bolstered by this success I moved on to Tootsie. A confession, I've never seen Tootsie. I have no idea how I have this gap in my key 80s film oeuvre but there it is. I've literally not even seen five minutes.

I was bowled over. I knew it was a good film but nobody told me it was awesome! Plus Bill Murray is in it. Dustin Hoffman thoroughly deserved his Oscar, he is just so good. Men dressing up as women is as old as the hills in Hollywood but his performance is genuinely very touching and not just played for laughs. I enjoyed every moment.

On my flight back, I watched Say Anything. Again, I've not seen this for a very long time. This film is all about John Cusack. Without him, not much is going on but he's marvellous. The good guy Lloyd, adored by his female friends, winning over the class goddess. It's not one of my favourite 80s films but it's thoroughly enjoyable. And it has Frasier's dad in it!

I was reminded of these movies after reading Hadley Freeman's new book, Life Moves Pretty Fast. Unsurprisingly it's about 80s movies and how good they were. It's not just a blind adoration though, she calls out the sexism, racism and other isms of 80s films but she also talks about how Dirty Dancing would simply never get made today. It's well worth a read.

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