January 17 12

Now that my beloved Packers are out of the playoffs, I realize I need something to do with my time. The truth is, if I’m being honest, the Packers played like sweaty balls out there on Sunday and did not deserve to win that game. All hail the New York Giants for stepping up their game and getting it done. I will be cheering for them this playoff season while I wait for next season. Hopefully, in the off season, my boys will figure out that you don’t come off of a glorious season only to lose it in the playoffs.

Anyway, enough about football. (Insert whatever weeping emoticon the kids are using these days.)

The real challenge today is the BATTLE OF THE ICONIC ’80s MOVIES where I, once and for all, decide while one of the movies that shaped me reigns supreme.

It’s going to be tough, I tell you. Who I am today is 1000% because of those movies. The movies I recorded on an old VCR tape, praying that the constant rewinding and playing wouldn’t break the black tape. The movies I can act out, scene-by-scene, line-by-line.

The movies that made dancing dirty, made the artsy, offbeat boys sexy, made the foreign exchange students hilarious. The movies that made skipping school easy, made detention an awesome way to spend a Saturday, made it possible to make a person with a computer and a Barbie doll.

We wanted Baby to do the lift. We wanted to like Andie’s homemade prom dress. We wanted Samantha’s parents to remember her birthday. We wanted to know the sausage king of Chicago. We wanted to Marty to get to 88 miles per hour. We wanted to hear the punchline of John Bender’s joke. We wanted to hear about last night…We wanted to wax on, wax off. We wanted to blow birthday candles out on our dining room table. We wanted to have a drink at St. Elmo’s Bar. We wanted to put lipstick on with our cleavage. We wanted to carry a watermelon. We wanted to learn the African Anteater Ritual. We wanted to never let anyone put Baby in a corner. We wanted our two dollars. We wanted to make like a tree…and get out of here. We wanted to give out panties to help a geek. We wanted Mr. Vernon to know that Barry Manilow raided his wardrobe. We wanted to know if someone has six fingers on his right hand. We wanted to not buy, sell or process anything.

What’s the magic formula for picking a favorite, you ask?

Well, I will tell you, even though I totally and completely made it up on the fly about fourteen minutes ago, but let’s go with it, shall we?

Most quotable/memorable lines + most attractive leading men (or ladies) + most satisfying ending = BEST. (Bonus points for a good soundtrack and cheese factor.)

So, for example, Karate Kid, while this movie holds the heck up today, it has only a few memorable/quotable lines, has Daniel Larusso and Johnny Lawrence (meh and meh), but has a satisfying ending. It cannot be the favorite.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: Highly quotable (I may go out on a limb and say that it’s the MOST quotable), but, well, sadly, Charlie Sheen was the best looking part of the movie. Ending was satisfying. Also? Chicago!

The Breakfast Club: Quote quotient is through the roof. Cast is hard to beat. End is awesome. Bonus soundtrack points!

Some Kind of Wonderful: Lines + ERIC STOLTZ + wildly satisfying ending + decent soundtrack + the kissing scene.

Weird Science: This one is out of the running. Mostly because of Chet Donnelly.

Back to the Future: Quotes, quotes and more quotes.

Better Off Dead: See Weird Science. Replace Chet Donnelly with Charles De Mar. End scene.

Sixteen Candles: Quotes…yes! Hotness factor…high! Satisfying ending…indeed! JAKE RYAN.

Dirty Dancing: Bonus points for it being a period piece—swoon. Also, they discuss Alfa Romeos (“That’s my favorite car!”) and the scene where Baby and Johnny get it on it hot.

Pretty in Pink: When you have Duckie in a movie, obviously the quotes are going to be there. The ending kills this one for me—I’m not sure it’s right. Sometimes I want Duckie to win Andie’s heart, and sometimes I’m on team Blane. I kind of just wish his name wasn’t Blane. Also, Andie’s dress. Good lord, her dress.

St. Elmo’s Fire: Two words: ROB LOWE PLAYING A SAX. Okay fine, that’s more than two, but it’s Rob Lowe playing a sax, my math skills are a little cloudy.

Say Anything: He gave her his heart; she gave him a pen.

You can feel free to use this super scientific formula for yourselves.

Warning: Results may vary.


Winner: Sixteen Candles, with clear nods to both Some Kind of Wonderful and Dirty Dancing. 

The end.


What’s your favorite angsty ’80s movie?

  1. There is also the “Cusack quotient,” wherein any movie from the time period is better simply by having a Cusack in it. Sixteen Candles has both John (one of two nerds even nerdier than Farmer Ted) and Joan (she’s in the neck brace on the bus and trying to drink water at the dance).

    Boom! Instantly better.


    ali replied on

    OH MY GOD!

    The Cusack Quotient is the best thing I have ever heard. I may have to amend my post!


    LibraryGirl62 replied on



    Comment by jack on January 17, 2012
  2. Such perfect timing, Ali. I’m completely immersed in ’80s movie thoughts because I’m deep into Rob Lowe’s memoirs(and if you haven’t read them yet, you have to!..if for the photos alone…Sam Seaborn and Jed Bartlett hanging by a pool together 20 years before The West Wing!!!)

    Anyways, I’ve just spent 50 pages reading all about the filming of The Outsiders and Class, and I’m dying to go back and watch those again. Way back then Taps was my absolutely favourite, but The Outsiders…what a cast!!


    ali replied on

    The Outsiders is sooo sooo very good.


    Julie replied on

    STAY GOLD!!! not a highly quotable movie but that must be on the list…


    Comment by Jennifer on January 17, 2012
  3. Hands down for me it’s Some Kind of Wonderful. So much so that I still watch the movie and have the soundtrack CD in my car. I was 16yrs old and saw the movie in the summer at least 5 times. I wanted to be Watts.


    Comment by Charmedone17 on January 17, 2012
  4. This is brilliant! I’m on the Some Kind of Wonderful team for sure, but then I had an aversion to Molly Ringwald as a teen, especially in Sixteen Candles.


    Comment by Tamara on January 17, 2012
  5. Hands down, Jake Ryan, I mean, 16 Candles. 2nd? Valley Girl.


    Comment by gorillabuns on January 17, 2012
  6. Agreed! I can pretty much recite all of Sixteen Candles, line for line. Favorite movie ever.


    Comment by Lisa on January 17, 2012
  7. Love these choices! Would like to add Better off dead — I love the paper boy and One Crazy Summer — I like the cartoons and the little girl making the funny face. There is a quote but can’t remember it… something about her face staying like that. How about horror movies from the 80s? Fright Night, Pet Cemetary, The Evil Dead, Nightmare on Elm Street (Hello? Johnny Depp), The Lost Boys, Poltergeist, Children of the Corn, too many to list.


    Comment by Sandy on January 17, 2012
  8. Sixteen Candles, hands down winner in my books. By the way, do you know about this movie festival? http://www.cineplex.com/Events...../Home.aspx
    I will be seeing the greatest double feature of all time: Ferris Bueller followed by Sixteen Candles….ON THE BIG SCREEN! IN ONE NIGHT!!! Aaah, good times…


    Comment by ilana on January 17, 2012
  9. Dirty Dancing,Ferris Bueller and Can’t Buy Me Love are my all time faves!


    Comment by Katy on January 17, 2012
  10. “Blaine? That’s Not a Name, It’s a Major Appliance!” :)


    Comment by Magoop on January 17, 2012
  11. Sixteen Candles is the best 80′s movie ever!! However, to complete my movie watching experience, I have to add Real Genius, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink and~just for Judd Nelson swooning~Breakfast Club.


    Comment by LibraryGirl62 on January 17, 2012
  12. Ferris Bueller has the sexy Jennifer Grey and Mia Sara in it and some of the funniest scenes every written, but Back to the Future is the best of them all, mostly because there are three BTTF movies, all with their individual charms, that add up to make one fantastic 80s experience.


    Comment by Avitable on January 18, 2012
  13. ^ever written.


    Comment by Avitable on January 18, 2012
  14. 16 Candles for sure!

    But Rob Lowe on the sax is amazing! But that’s only an excellent movie to watch with you when you’re sick and we spend the day on the couch in our PJs!


    Comment by Kristabella on January 18, 2012
  15. St. Elmo’s Fire, hands down, no thought required. Less Than Zero, and Breakfast Club could tie for second for me.


    Comment by Maria on January 18, 2012
  16. Back then, my favorite was License To Drive (Corey Haim!) but now that I know better, I have to go with Back To The Future.


    Comment by Alison on January 18, 2012
  17. Easy – winner hands down: The Breakfast Club. But I love all the other choices too. <3 <3


    Comment by Heidi on January 18, 2012
  18. My favorite, hands down, DIRTY DANCING!


    Comment by AmazingGreis on January 24, 2012
  19. […] actually, random fact, once wrote a post about picking a favourite ’80s movie but it was in 2012 and I seriously can’t move past Some Kind of Wonderful because of *that* […]

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