Certain things from the 80’s are incomparable especially movies. Whether humorous, dramatic, touching or just plain terrifying the films listed below are extremely captivating and it just goes to show that they don’t make movies like they used to.
Arthur – 1981
A delightful comedy about money, love, liquor and everything in between. Arthur Bach is a spoiled, drunken playboy who has no accountability for anything as all he wants to do is drink and have fun. In addition to having a chauffeur as well as a personal butler who is also his friend, confidant and isn’t afraid to be honest with him about everything Arthur is heir to his father’s fortune and is to inherit $750 million upon the condition he marry Susan Johnson, a snobbish heiress whom he dislikes immensely but who his family feels will finally help him to mature. Not wanting to lose the millions he stands to collect Arthur reluctantly agrees to marry Susan but soon meets a tough-talking waitress from Queens named Linda Marolla.
Smitten with Linda’s brassy personality Arthur is instantly attracted to her yet knows if he doesn’t marry Susan he’ll be cut off financially. Arthur must choose between marrying someone he can’t stand while having the privileged life he’s been accustomed to or being with the woman he loves and becoming destitute.
Arthur is absolutely hilarious with a terrific story line and all of the characters complement each other making it a blockbuster hit. The film also shows us that for some people being an alcoholic is not only entertainment for others but is a job in itself. Just watching it and hearing the song “Arthur’s Theme (Best That You Can Do)” makes me want to drink.
* While most movie sequels don’t match up to that of the original Arthur 2: On the Rocks is an exception. Despite the overall negative reviews it received the film, released in 1988 is quite comical with a well written plot.
* In 2011 a remake of Arthur hit theaters and I’m still baffled as to why this was done. While I haven’t seen the film nor do I have any intention of doing so no one could portray the character of Arthur Bach as genuine as Dudley Moore. The majority of the reviews were awful with most people agreeing on the fact that the movie never should have been made in the first place. You can’t duplicate perfection.
Weird Science -1985
The answer to just about every teenage boy’s dream. Gary and Wyatt are two high-school nerds who want more than anything to be popular and have the two girls they have huge crushes on but when that doesn’t happen they resort to other measures. One night when Gary stays over Wyatt’s house they decide to create the “perfect woman” on Wyatt’s computer which results in both of their social lives completely changing making it one of the coolest movies of the eighties.
Of the numerous teen flicks made in the ’80s Weird Science is one of those that s not only hysterical but many people can identify with at least one character from the film as with most John Hughes’ movies.
The Hitcher – 1986
A chilling movie that gives the term no good deed goes unpunished an entirely new meaning. Jim Halsey is delivering a car from Chicago to San Diego and reluctantly decides to pick a hitchhiker during a rainstorm. At first the man, John Ryder is soft-spoken until he unveils the the murdering psychopath he really is. After narrowly escaping a violent death by throwing John out of his vehicle Jim thinks it’s the end of his ordeal but little does he know it’s just the beginning of a nightmarish hell. Not only is Jim mercilessly stalked on the road in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse he’s also framed for john’s depraved crimes along the way and the only one who somewhat believes him is a waitress who works at a truck stop. Between being terrorized by a madman and pursued by the law Jim must do whatever it takes to stay alive.
The Hitcher has to be one of the most frightening as well as suspenseful movies ever made. It takes viewers on a horrifying ride through the twisted mind of a killer and what steps the victim is forced to take in order to protect himself. The first time I ever saw this film it scared the bejesus out of me and still does. It might also make people think twice about picking up hitchhikers unless of course they don’t mind taking chance that they may be giving a homicidal maniac a lift. You never can tell.
* In 2003 The HitcherII: I’ve Been Waiting reprises C. Thomas Howell’s role as Jim Halsey who, fifteen years later is now a police officer on suspension and has emotionally unresolved issues about what previously happened to him so he and his girlfriend travel to Texas to visit an old friend of his. Along the way at his girlfriend’s request Jim picks up a crazed hitchhiker only to quickly throw him out as history almost repeats itself with the lunatic stopping at nothing to unleash the sinister plan he has in store for them.
* In 2007 The Hitcher which is a remake of the original and featured some of the same character names was released only this time the premise is of a young college couple in the New Mexico desert who pick up a sadistic hitchhiker only for them to be blamed for crimes he committed and are relentlessly persecuted by him.
As with most films that are either remakes or sequels they’re usually never as good as the original and both the 2003 and 2007 versions are prime examples of this.
Baby Boom – 1987
This heartwarming film proves no matter how many ambitions or plans a person has their life can change entirely overnight. J.C. Wiatt is a high-powered management consultant at an advertising company in Manhattan and thinks she has it all together from her well-paid position, demanding and hectic schedule along with the luxurious penthouse she shares with her equally successful yuppie boyfriend though it’s more of a joint venture than a relationship. Nicknamed the “Tiger Lady” because of her aggressive demeanor J.C. is beyond enthused about the most important business meeting of her career to determine whether or not she gets promoted to partner but her life is soon turned completely around when she receives a call in the middle of the night informing her that she’s just inherited something from a distant relative. The following morning on the way to her long-awaited meeting she goes to the airport and her surprise quickly turns to shock when she discovers that her inheritance is actually a baby girl named Elizabeth.
Thinking she can juggle both her profession and motherhood J.C. soon finds it’s easier said than done. The responsibility of caring for an infant along with her other priorities become too much for J.C. resulting in her boyfriend moving out and her not being made partner along with losing a profitable account as it’s given to her assistant who she helped to get hired. Following this J.C. moves to Vermont and buys a house to get a fresh start from the fast pace lifestyle she’s been used to.
With a lot of time on her hands and facing financial difficulty she begins making applesauce from the orchard in her yard. Elizabeth loves it so much J.C. begins selling the product locally. She also meets a veterinarian who she’s smitten with as he’s down to earth and is unlike her former beau. Before long she goes from selling her applesauce at various locations throughout the state to distributing it nationally as it becomes the hottest product to hit shelves.
J.C. demonstrates that while she’s no longer the “Tiger Lady” she’s still a savvy businesswoman who gets what she wants on her own terms.
Baby Boom is such a cute movie but it also has an interesting plot from beginning to end. It also demonstrates how one never knows what the future holds despite what detailed strategies they have. In addition, the movie depicts people’s true colors despite what facade they try to put on.
Chances Are – 1989
A perfect fantasy movie about a happily married couple named Corinne and Louie Jeffries but on the day of their first anniversary Louie, a district attorney dies after getting hit by a car while crossing the street and Corrine’s world is suddenly destroyed. Louie; however, gets another chance at life after being reincarnated as a baby named Alex Finch. Fate intervenes twenty-three years later when Miranda who just so happens to be Corinne’s daughter is a student attending Yale meets Alex who works there at the library and on the night he meets Corinne Alex beings having flashbacks of Louie’s memories. Aware of what’s happening Alex desperately tries to convince Corinne that he’s Louie, has to reject Miranda’s affections and discovers his best friend Phillip is in love with Corinne.
This is one of those movies that’s bittersweet from start to finish. While various films have been made in which the premise is of someone being reborn in another person’s body what sets Chances Are apart from others is that the scenario is not only captivating but by combining comedy with drama it lightens the sadness of the movie.