Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them from Movies Anymore) by Hadley Freeman
(Simon & Schuster, 2016, 352 pages)
Life Moves Pretty Fast is a fun survey of all the 80s movies that endure today: Princess Bride, Dirty Dancing, When Harry Met Sally, Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, Back to the Future, Steel Magnolias, Baby Boom, 48 Hours, Ghostbusters, and more. Freeman states that the types of movies from the 80s are not made today. Instead, movie studios go for the blockbusters, the big-budget superhero films, because those are the movies that translate internationally. Of course, there are low-budget independent films, too, but there’s nothing in between because movie studios think people in other countries (where a lot of money is made) can’t relate to the American cultural experience.
Discussions on movies starring women, such as Working Girl and Fatal Attraction, have a feminist slant, with which I sometimes agreed and sometimes didn’t. For example, I thought it was a stretch to say that bunny-killer Alex in Fatal Attraction represents all unmarried women in their forties. Somehow Trainwreck, a non-80s movie written by and starring Amy Schumer, a self-proclaimed feminist, gets into the discussion and is criticized for its portrayal of women. Otherwise I found the commentary and quotes from actors and directors interesting and fun. If you love 80s movies, you will enjoy this book. Get ready to go to the library because you’ll want to watch these movies over again (as I did with Pretty in Pink)!