Eighties movies still resonate with today’s teens

When it comes to pop culture, the 1980s was an era unlike any other. Almost everyone has listened to music or watched films from the ’80s at some point in their lives. The parents who grew up in that time wanted to show their kids the movies they watched or the music they listened to. Thus, many kids and teens nowadays are familiar with these media. Today, we are focusing on movies, so the question is asked: what are students’ favorite ’80s movies?


  1. Natalie Thomas (junior)

Say Anything (1989)

Say Anything is a great movie because of how real and likable the characters and situations are. Many of the male leads in romance movies also tend to be callous or dislikeable at a closer look, but Lloyd Dobler isn’t like that at all. Though he’s flawed, he’s still sweet and thoughtful and loyal and protective. Diane is rich, gorgeous and a genius, but she’s still human. She still loves and worries about the people she cares for. The two defining relationships in the movie—between male lead Lloyd Dobler and female lead Diane Court, and Diane and her father Jim—are both explored in depth and detail and intertwine in ways that create interesting conflict. It’s also hard to resist the ‘underdog-meets-privileged’ romance trope, which is definitely at play here. As their senior class’s gorgeous valedictorian, Diane has plenty of guys going after her, but she ends up with Lloyd because ‘he made [her] laugh.’ Their relationship is very sweet and you can’t help but root for them to be together.

Say Anything portrays its issues with care and detail. First, the end of high school. It explores the reality of trying to decide what you want to do with your life after high school, and how existing relationships fit into that. This is a relatable situation for high schoolers and one I could definitely sympathize with as I watched it. It showed it in a way that was both messy and beautiful, just like real life. Say Anything covers the issue of loving someone who has broken the law as well. Diane’s father Jim has been embezzling money for years from his retirement home residents and lies to Diane about it. When she discovers the truth, he tells her that it was to give her financial independence. He’s done wrong, but he isn’t shown as this evil villain with no humanity to him. He’s shown as complicated, which is how it often is in real life.

Having “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel as the defining track of the movie doesn’t hurt either.


  1. Abby Colton (sophomore)

The Breakfast Club (1985), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), Dead Poet’s Society (1989), Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

“Sorry there’s multiple; I think a lot of the comedy is timeless, and I think the messages portrayed regardless of how silly the movies get are classic. I’m personally really big on movies, so I just have too many favorites. They’re all there for similar reasons though.”


  1. Clara Snow (junior)

Back To The Future (1985)

“It has Michael J. Fox in it; that man is a god of an actor, always has been and always will be. This is my favorite movie because it has the ’80s charm that we hear about in books and from our parents, but it has some fun sci-fi and something you can relate to since it’s during Marty Mcfly’s teenage years.”


  1. Kirstyn Cotcher (sophomore)

The Return Of The Jedi (1983)

“It is arguably one of the best Star Wars movies, and it had Ewoks in it. Ewoks may seem like cute cuddly bears, but make no mistake, they are little demon warriors. I love Star Wars, and it really brings the original trilogy to a good conclusion. I like how Luke is able to turn Vader back into a good guy and overthrow the Emperor.”


  1. Alexis Smith (senior)

The Breakfast Club (1985)

“It’s my favorite because the characters are in my age group and they prove to school systems that it is OK to be a popular girl or a jock and have problems. The ‘bad boy’ has a soft side and the ‘freak’ isn’t that freaky and the smart kids can break down.”


  1. Lauren Ferguson (junior)

Field of Dreams (1989)

I’ve watched it since I was a little kid. Every summer we would go up to Dyersville and visit the field. It’s a movie everyone can enjoy for years and years. It’s such an iconic staple in all of the ’80s movies. I’ve never met one person that doesn’t like it. I love watching it when it comes on TV. I will never get tired of this movie, and it’s a sports movie, so who could hate a movie about baseball?”


  1. Ruthie Haynes (sophomore)

Evil Dead series (1981 and 1987), Re-Animator (1985) (honorable mention)

“The Evil Dead and Evil Dead II were hugely influential on the horror genre as a whole. While they didn’t originate the ‘cabin in the woods’ trope, they definitely did a lot to popularize it. The balance between genuine scares and campy humor is done really well—while the third movie in the series, Army of Darkness (1990) descends into comedy-horror rather than horror-comedy, the first two movies retain a genuine sense of fear even when it’s offset by slapstick humor. Although the characters are mostly pretty two-dimensional, Bruce Campbell’s portrayal of Ash has become one of the most iconic horror characters in history (and besides, you don’t watch ’80s horror for deep character writing). The practical effects are really impressive for the extremely limited budget that the movies worked with—in particular, the creature design and stop motion used at the end of the first movie.  


  1. Aidan Fobian (sophomore)

Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner is the absolute gold standard for what Cyberpunk fiction should be, both in its subject matter of having thought, feeling and sentient AI and in its presentation of a neon-lit drenched city and flying cars passing overhead with huge monolithic buildings everywhere. Its actors play and understand their roles very well. While some of the technology is unrealistic for the time it takes place, (which is 2019). It is interesting to see what people back in the ’80s thought their future would look like by that time. Overall, Blade Runner is a classic and one of the best movies of all time, and with Cyberpunk coming back into the light, with the Video Game Cyberpunk 2077, and the Japanese Anime Cyberpunk Edgerunners,  Blade Runner is the perfect movie to go back and check out.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.