Hello, Cannonballers! I’ve come to swell your ranks and bump up my yearly reading tally. I’m not nervous, honest…
Life Moves Pretty Fast was a nostalgic and amusing start to my reading year. When you think of the best movies, the eighties don’t tend to jump immediately to mind. But Hadley Freeman begs to differ and takes us on a trip through some of her favourite eighties movies and what they taught us, as well as looking at what’s been lost in the movies of today.
Dedicating a chapter per film, some were better than others simply due to my familiarity with them (the chapter on The Princess Bride, arguing correctly that it is one of the best films ever made, also made me put down the book and immediately rewatch for the 15,000th time) or depending on how much you agree with the points they allow Freeman to make (my boyfriend would have poked her eye out had he read what she says about Nolan’s Batmans, and unlike Freeman I would rather bathe in bleach than kiss Andrew McCarthy).
Making a friend watch About Last Night with me recently (she’d never seen it, we’d had wine, and Rob Lowe was soooo pretty), we both took a double take at naked Demi Moore. Breathtakingly beautiful, yes, but also very unlike the bodies of actresses (and Demi) in movies now. The eighties seem to be the last place where women on screen were allowed to be *almost* normal, something which comes up again and again in Life Moves Pretty Fast, as well as how differently we were allowed to dress, who we could star alongside and how old we could be while doing it.
That’s not to make it sound like a long, feminist rant – it’s not (it would be a rather more depressing read if it was). Instead, it’s a nostalgic love letter to the films that made up my formative years, to the characters that peopled them (thank you, John Hughes, for ruining other boys/men for me and thank you, John Cusack, for breaking my heart when I made the mistake of following on Twitter), and to the power ballads that accompanied them.
With each chapter book-ended by a list, this made for prefect if slightly fuzzy headed New Year reading as well as a fine prompt whenever I was looking for something to watch. And on that note, I’m off to watch Ferris Bueller’s Day Off again.