Friday, February 17, 2012

Following Up on '80s Crushes

My Tumble 4 Ya Blogfest experience was so much fun that it merits a follow up. Connecting with other bloggers is always rewarding. I appreciate all of the feedback on my post and have likewise enjoyed learning about everyone else's youthful yearnings.

Image via

First, I must address a question posed by both Suze and Jennifer Lane regarding WarGames. Prior to 1985's The Breakfast Club, Ally Sheedy's biggest role was Jennifer Katherine Mack, love interest of David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) in the 1983 cyber-terrorism thriller. As I commented on the original post, WarGames was a serendipitous discovery for our family. We only went to see it because we arrived at the theater too late for our first choice (no idea what it was). All worked out fine as we all enjoyed the film.

Truth be told, it's been years since I've watched WarGames and I don't remember much about the love interest aspect of the story. It is possible that I was a little too young to appreciate it. The Pentagon hacking angle was far more intriguing to my 10-year-old mind. But I also think it says something for Matthew Broderick's talent that even in his earliest roles, he managed to be the screen presence in his films. Broderick was occasionally touted as a Brat Packer by association but let's be honest. As an actor, he was and is in a higher class than most of his teen idol contemporaries.

I haven't seen St. Elmo's Fire in a long time either and, in fact, have little desire to watch it. In her Tumble 4 Ya post, Julie Flanders cited the film as cringe-worthy and I have a sneaking suspicion that I also would find it unbearable now. I wanted to post the following clip in my original post but our Internet connection wasn't very cooperative that day. In trying to play it, I just got the first line over and over again: "Alec was the first love of my life...Alec was the first love of my life...Alec was the first love of my life..." Painful!

On the other hand, I'd happily watch Some Kind of Wonderful anytime. I was tempted to give Watts top billing for my crush post but Ally Sheedy came to mind first so it seemed only fair. But I consider SKoW to be the great, under-appreciated work of the John Hughes opus. With justification, it has been called a recycled Pretty in Pink, albeit with the sex roles reversed. However, I've always felt that version 2.0 is superior to the original. Role by role, I think all of the actors are stronger:

- Eric Stoltz over Molly Ringwald - Both are redheads - interesting.

- Mary Stuart Masterson over Jon Cryer - Sorry, Ducky fans. I like him, too. But Watts is my girl.

- Lea Thompson over Andrew McCarthy - The closest call of the bunch, though I think the extra wrinkle with Thompson's character - girl from the wrong side of the tracks hanging with the rich crowd - pushes her over the top

- Craig Sheffer over James Spader - Sheffer's a great heavy, especially interesting in light of the completely opposite role he plays in A River Runs Through It.

- Elias Koteas over Annie Potts - That one's a slam dunk.

Also, this is a great screen kiss:

The Armchair Squid began as a sports blog and as such, it seemed only appropriate to feature an athlete. My crush on Katarina Witt was quite genuine and she would have made an excellent top choice. Recent photos would suggest that she is still one of the most beautiful women in the world.

Photo via

Much was made of a "rivalry" between Witt and American Debi Thomas in 1988, especially when they chose the same piece of music for their long programs. But was there ever really any doubt? Here is Witt's gold medal-winning "Carmen":

In perusing the other blogs in the hop, I have learned much about the women of my generation. I always knew that Top Gun was a big deal for the Cruise and Kilmer crushers but I had no idea that the beach volleyball scene was the main draw. I am most definitely not too proud to pander so here you are, ladies (I think this is an Italian dub but come on, you're not really in it for the sparkling dialogue, are you?):

Finally, a little gift for Annalisa Crawford, though really for all of you. Ms. Crawford chose Morten Harket, A-Ha's dreamy lead singer, as her '80s crush. I must credit My Sister for this wonderful find. Enjoy:


  1. Thanks for that... I think! I really never thought an accordian version of Take On Me would work... The only thing to make it better would be little cut-outs of the band dancing across the bottom of the screen - they have a lot of empty space along the bottom.

    I only watched The Breakfast Club for the first time last year - I have no idea how it took me so long!

  2. There was dialogue in that beach volleyball scene? Didn't notice. :P

    I have not seen WarGames yet. I know! Bad child of the 80's. But I put it on my Netflix list and shall soon catch up with the rest of the world.

  3. LOL, when I watched St. Elmo's Fire again after so many years, the thing that struck me was that the characters were so self-absorbed and vapid that I would want to smack all of them if I had to be in the same room with them. Also, the Emilio Estevez character should have been arrested for stalking. And don't get my started on the Demi Moore meltdown sitting in her empty bedroom. But when I watched it in high school I thought it was so deep, and I imagined this was how my college friends and I would be. Thankfully I don't think any of us were ever that bad LOL.

    I had a great time with the 80s fest too, definitely my favorite blogfest ever!

  4. I loved the Tumble 4 Ya Blogfest too! It brought back so many great memories!!! I had forgotten about War Games but that was a great movie, although I haven't watched it in a while. I still watch Some Kind of Wonderful whenever I have a chance. I love Watts!

    I was a little surprised that nobody mentioned Heathers and Christian Slater during the fest. He played a great role in that movie!

  5. Wow, you used a whole post to answer follow-up questions. That's kinda cool. Well, I have to say I loved A. Potts' character in 'PIP' and am perversely proud never to have had the slightest interest in watching 'Top Gun.'

  6. Look, there's an earlier iteration of me! I came back to reread your 80s post because I was going to tell you that one of my best friends is forcibly sitting me down tomorrow to watch 'Some Kind of Wonderful' for the first time! Ah! Can you believe it? :)

    Anyway, this:

    'The Pentagon hacking angle was far more intriguing to my 10-year-old mind'

    made me want to link this.

    1. Hooray! I look forward to reading your thoughts.