Tuesday, April 6, 2010

80s Some Kind of Wonderful

The trip from Beetlejuice to Some Kind of Wonderful goes like this. The actor, Jeffrey Jones played the dad of the family that moved into the house. You may also know him as the principal in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. He was also in another 80s classic, Howard the Duck. By classic I mean it was awfully awesome.

One of his co-stars in Howard the Duck was Lea Thompson and Lea Thompson played the object of Eric Stoltz affection in Some Kind of Wonderful. Now, tell me that circuitous route wasn't fun?

I really love Some Kind of Wonderful. I love that it not only has the time honored movie tradition of the dorky guy going for the most popular girl in school but it also has his best friend, played by Mary Stuart Masterson, secretly pining for him.

It's the classic case of desiring so badly of being somewhere you perceive to be better that you don't realize that what's happening right in front of you is what you really need the most.

I think the stand-out here is Lea Thompson's character, Amanda Jones. In these types of movies, the popular girl of desire is usually shallow and while nice to look at, there's nothing there of substance. The main character usually finds that his dream girl is mean, rude, or dumb and moves on by the end of the movie.

Here, Amanda Jones is a real thought out character and not just a cliché. She's confused. She's torn between the popular, shallow life and what she knows is truer to herself. In a twist of the traditional movie convention, Eric Stoltz's character actually becomes more superficial while Amanda becomes more grounded.

It's really great writing and it's the writer, John Hughes, at the height of his 80s greatness. Some Kind of Wonderful isn't seen as being up there in the pantheon of Sixteen Candles or the Breakfast Club but it should be remembered in that elite company.

You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll give your stud earring to your best friend as a present. Check it out if you have never seen it or if you haven't seen it in a while go, revisit it. It's a forgotten classic.

1 comment:

  1. If you really want to see Lea Thompson in all her "glory", then see "All the Right Moves" with Tom Cruise. Full frontal Thompson. It just doesn't get any better than that to stoke the fires of inappropriate teen crushes on 80s icons.