This was not my first choice for the book club; in fact, it wasn’t my second or third choice either. I think I would have preferred any other of the book club choices to this one, however I was overruled and democracy blahblahblah. I honestly went into it with an open mind, I may not have looked forward to reading it, but hey, I was willing to give it a chance. I like 80s movies, maybe not to the extent that Freeman does but I like them. However, this book aggravated me on so many, many levels that I eventually just gave up and lightly skimmed the remainder of the essays. The writing was decent, about average for an internet blog post, but (and this holds true even when I agreed with her) the essays were just too long. Honestly, if this were a blog list somewhere on the internet then it would have been amusing and kind of awesome but as a book it felt stretched and weak.
My major issue with the book is the central premise, which is that 80s movies are the best and do ALL the things instead of something more like “80s movies had a huge impact on my life and development and this is why.” The thing is, that second is what the book was actually about but because we live in a world where hyperbole is rewarded and Cracked best of lists are massively popular Freeman had to pretend that she was writing the first. It aggravated me.
My second issue is that Freeman cherry picked examples that supported her various points and ignored movies which proved her wrong. Now granted, this happens a lot when people write opinion pieces, but it still bothered me. Of course, the Oughts are going to come off bad when you compare Pretty in Pink to Twilight, or Dirty Dancing to Twilight, or Fast Times at Ridgemont High to Twilight. Seriously, I was on page 68 and she’d used Twilight as her counter example at least four times by that point. Get another whipping boy.
There were also several points where Freeman contradicted a statement she’d made in an earlier essay. Either women had the best roles in the 80s, or they had no good roles in the 80s. Both statements can’t be true, but she makes them both at various points in the book. I gave up reading the book once I realized this and mostly just skimmed to see if she was going to say anything else interesting.
Also, and this is so minor but boy has it bugged me, Pretty in Pink is NOT BETTER THEN THE BREAKFAST CLUB. Are we completely forgetting NiceGuyDucky? Ugh. And that pretty much sums up how I feel about the book. I honestly hope that you all enjoy it more then I did.