Lost that loving feeling
THE OTHER DAY my kids watched the movie about the gorgeous Extra Terrestrial who is trying to get home. They loved the film, but didn’t really get it.
“Why did the alien get lost? Didn’t he have spacebased Google maps?” “Why couldn’t he just ring home on his iPhone?” Given that it’s Oscar season, it got me thinking about whether some of my other favourite 1980s movies have stood the test of time.
In the ‘ 80s, teen movies were a riot of bitchy cheerleaders, slack dopers, clueless parents, sporty jocks and rich snobs.
Back then, cool boys were called Blane and Ren, teens worked in record shops after school, and the latest thing in mobile phones was the Motorola DynaTac 8000X, which weighed nearly a kilogram and was 25cm long.
In 1980s movies, you got to see James Spader before the botox, Nicole Kidman back when she had frizzy red hair and freckles, and Jon Cryer when he was dorky Ducky rather than one third of the
More importantly, the 1980s was a time before social media, iTunes, mobile phones, the internet and reality TV.
We still bought vinyl discs, listened to cassette tapes and talked to friends on our parents’ home phones in the kitchen.
So how do the movies of the 1980s stack up today, and how has the world changed since then? Let’s start with one of the best:
which shows cool-kid Ferris wagging school to spend time with his best mate and girlfriend.
It just wouldn’t work these days as the school – not to mention his parents – could track his every movement by iPhone.
In any case, Ferris, a lovable egomaniac, wouldn’t be able to resist putting his antics on YouTube to impress his mates left behind in the classroom.
Same goes for which is about five misfits – a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal – who spend Saturday detention together in their school library.
These days, these kids wouldn’t spend the time in detention getting to know one another; they’d be too busy putting selfies on Instagram and posting status updates on Facebook.
The idea of Saturday detention is also ancient history. Schools would have a lawsuit from parents if they tried to pull anything like that today.
Besides, most schools don’t have libraries anymore. They have information technology integrated learning centres instead.
Let’s turn to which features slacker dudes who use a time machine to help them pass a history test for school.
The movie was billed as: “History is about to be rewritten by two guys who can’t spell”. Clearly, there are some major modern-day issues.
Kids don’t need a time machine to get their history homework done. They’ve got the internet to tell them everything they need to know, such as the fact that Joan of Arc wasn’t Noah’s wife (as Bill and Ted claim).
These days, kids don’t need to be able to spell thanks to the brilliance of spellcheck.
And a lot of teens don’t write essays any more, they just cut and paste passages from the internet.
is another movie that teens today would find mystifying. It is based around the misery of try-hard teen Samantha, whose parents forget her birthday amid the lead-up to her perfect sister’s wedding. That would never happen today thanks to Facebook’s birthday reminders and iPhone calendars.
The movie is also memorable for its sex quiz, with tantalizing questions such as “Have you ever touched it?” and “Have you ever done it?”
Nowadays there is no need for secret quizzes about sex to be passed during class. Thanks to sexting, every teenager’s sex life is now an open book – or at the very least an open group text.
is the same. The flying scenes would work, but they’d have to replace that pick-up scene in the bar with Tom Cruise (Maverick) right-swiping Kelly McGillis (Charlotte) on Tinder.
The scene where he follows her into the ladies’ room and serenades her with would also have to be rewritten. These days she wouldn’t date him after that, she’d report him for sexual harassment.
It does make me wish I was raising my own kids in a simpler, slower time, like the 1980s.
Give me Ferris over Facebook, and over Tinder any day. Blog with Susie at Susieobrien.com.au, Facebook.com/NewswithSue and follow her on Twitter @susieob