Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Lost Gems of the 80s, Part 2

And the list continues! Here are three more to go out and see for the first time...or see again because it's just been too long. :)

Summer School (1987)
Summer School may not be one of Carl Reiner’s finest directing stints, but it’s still a fun movie. Mark Harmon plays Mr. Shoop, a gym teacher who gets his summer vacation yanked away when he’s told he must teach remedial English in summer school. Being one of the few “cool” adults to appear in an Teen 80s movie, Mr. Shoop trades in the classroom for the beach, where he lets his students do whatever they want…until he’s caught by vice-principal Phil (Robin Thomas), aka resident bad guy. Phil tells Shoop that he will be fired unless the entire class passes the end-of-term exam. Shoop, not being one for good old-fashioned motivation, bribes each student with a favor in turn for studying.

The favors range from driving lessons for Denise (Kelly Jo Minter) to showing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre in class for Dave and “Chainsaw” (Gary Riley and Dean Cameron) to letting Pam (Courtney Thorne-Smith) move in with him. I promise, there is no teacher-student romance. Shoop’s got his eye on the teacher next door, Ms. Robin Bishop, played by the "Cheers" sexy version of Kirstie Alley.

Summer School blends outrageous parties, awkward moments, feel-good messages, and the archetypal studying montage into a crazy comedy. There are no true standout moments, but I must say that the joke about the guy who was in the bathroom all semester is pretty funny!

For Keeps? (1988)
Molly Ringwald, the unofficial princess of 80s movies, starred in such classics as The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, but how many people saw For Keeps?

Ringwald stars as Darcy Elliot, a high school senior who wants to be a journalist and travel the world. Her boyfriend Stan Bobrucz (Randall Batinkoff) is an equally successful student who has dreams of being an architect. Their dreams are dashed when Darcy discovers she’s pregnant. Darcy’s Mom says abortion is the only way, but Darcy and Stan love each other, and without his parents’ blessing, they get married.

For Keeps is Ringwald’s serious 80s movie. The film quickly goes from two kids enjoying life on their own to two young parents dealing with paying bills, post-partum depression, and a quickly dimming future. The script isn’t award-winning, but the acting is excellent. If you’re a Molly Ringwald fan, you should definitely check it out.

Loverboy (1989)
Loverboy is one of my 80s guilty pleasures. I’ve seen it a dozen times, and I never get sick of it. It’s cheesy. It’s cute. And I’ll never look at anchovies the same ever again.

The absolutely lovable Patrick Dempsey stars as Randy Bodeck—a college student in a bad place. His father has decided not to support his slacker ways, and his girlfriend thinks he's too insensitive. Since he's got to find a way to afford school and his girlfriend, Randy decides to work as a pizza delivery boy to make some extra money while also finding himself. Due to some extreme miscommunication, he ends up as a male escort. (You want to see it now, don’t you?) At first, he’s a bit put off by the idea of being with older women, but the money is just too good, and it's all good practice for his girlfriend, right?

Of course things don't go so smoothly for the lover boy. Randy soon finds himself running from some very angry husbands, trying to convince his parents that he’s not gay, and holding on to his girlfriend who's convinced he's cheating. (Mostly because he technically is, but technicalities aren't important in the 80s folks.)

On top of a ridiculously funny story, there’s a pretty notable cast too. Former Angel Kate Jackson plays Randy’s mom. Robert Picardo makes a turn as an angry husband, and Carrie Fisher and Kirstie Alley are two of Randy’s “clients.”

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