I just finished Hadley Freeman's Life Moves Pretty Fast-The Lessons we learned from 80s Movies, and Why We Don't Learn them from Movies Anymore. I started before but had to start over with my highlighter in hand. VERY interesting read. I'm sure there's so much more about this I don't know. I'd love to discuss! These are some of my favorite quotes.
  1. "You've got people who don't know movies and don't watch movies for pleasure deciding what movie you're going to be allowed to make."
    -Steven Soderbergh
  2. "...executives don't get punished for making bombs the way that filmmakers do, and the result is there's no turnover of new ideas..."
    -Steven Soderbergh
  3. "(HBO Netflix AMC and Amazon Prime) This is where filmmakers and screenwriters can experience the luxury of making stories that aren't intended to appeal to everybody, and where they can write stories about women, abortions, sex, and older people."
  4. "The big studios are now owned by international conglomerates...once moviemaking was the sole business of the studios, now it is a relatively tiny part of a big company."
  5. "Back in the mid-80s the international market would make up about 20% of a film's revenue. Now it's 80%..."
  6. "Half of my movies wouldn't be made today. Not in a million years would a studio make The Blues Brothers."
    -John Landis
  7. "Back to the Future would be impossible to do."
    -Robert Zemeckis
  8. "I doubt very much I could get a studio to make Cocoon today- it would be seen as an oddity and too eccentric."
    -Ron Howard
  9. "The ridiculous irony now is that the very filmmakers who coined the seventies and eighties blockbuster, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, can't get studios to back their films."
  10. "So now studios will only back films that are easy to sell and will work around the world because this then guarantees they will make their money back."
  11. "This in turn has led to the demise of traditional women's movies, because they wouldn't appeal to enough quadrants..."
  12. Chapter 1: Dirty Dancing
  13. "Nobody wanted to make it. Nobody. I would send out the script to studios along with a tape of the soundtrack that I'd made to go with it...'Oh yeah, Eleanor, we're not going to make the movie, but could you send me another cassette? I wore out the last one.' "
    -Eleanor Bergstein
  14. "It's only by losing her virginity that Baby sees the fallibility of her parents and sheds her Baby-ness to become Frances, and the film applauded this."
  15. "Baby risks everything for integrity and love, and she doesn't pay the price. Most movies make girls pay the price."
  16. "Girls in 80s teen movies love sex, and suffer few consequences for it."
  17. "(In recent teen movies) at the very least, a girl who has sex is certainly emotionally damaged and will be universally shamed."
  18. "American movies have become much more conservative since they were in the 1980s, and this is partly because of the international market."
    -Linda Obst
  19. "The ratings board is much harder on teen sex than violence and everyone knows it."
    -producer who works in teen films
  20. "Until the Twilight series and The Hunger Games came along, studios had assumed for years that young women couldn't front franchises for teenagers."
    Take that John Green and your catty comments about Stephenie Meyer!
  21. "(Recent teen films) don't believe that the mundane details of the average teenager's life are interesting or important enough to make a film about, as 80s teen films definitely did, and (John) Hughes especially did."
  22. "Not only are teenage girls seeing fewer representations of their lives on screen; they're seeing fewer actresses who even vaguely resemble them."
  23. "But the truth is, the only reason romcoms are terrible these days is that Hollywood stopped giving a shit about women. Fin."
  24. "When you grow up watching men play leads in films...you get used to wanting everything to work out well for men, because you've been trained to be on their side. I spent years staying in relationships with men...because I worried that if I broke up with them they'd be sad like Lloyd Dobbler was in Say Anything."
  25. "(Three functions) women are usually lumbered with in romcoms: pine desperately for the man, make the man grow up by being a nagging shrew, or be liberated from her frigid bitchiness by the power of his amazing pen us."
  26. Not Sally in When Harry Met Sally though!
  27. "Here, I realized, was an adult female character who wanted love, but wasn't pathetic, and was loved, but was also human...she was her own person."
  28. "Sally also pointed out to me that being miserable didn't mean I was deep. It meant that I was just ruining my own life."
  29. "Her friends are portrayed as a source of support but also have lives of their own...This makes their friendship feel utterly real."
  30. "Audiences aren't tired of romance, they're tiring of formulas."
    -Hollywood director
  31. "Women's films, like weepers and romcoms, don't get commissioned anymore because they don't work overseas. There's a different kind of funny today- less wit. Wit and nuance don't travel."
    Linda Obst
  32. "Ephron knew that, and she was smart enough to know that love wasn't about set pieces, or shticks, meet cutes, or cliched impediments - it's about people."
  33. "When Harry Met Sally lasted because stories about human emotions don't date."
  34. "Whenever a movie for women is successful, studios credit it to a million factors, and none of those factors is to do with women."
    -Melissa Silverstein
  35. Ghostbusters chapter
  36. "In American movie comedies today...(men) are overgrown teenagers who regard women as bitches to humiliate or mother figures to worship. Women, bromance movies suggest, are a necessity in life, but it's only hanging out with ones male friends...that a man is truly at ease with himself."
  37. "The man-boy...is a petulant temper tantrum about the demise of simple patriarchal structures, a giant shrug of confusion about how men should be if the can no longer act like Don Draper without being arrested. It's a form of rebellion when the only thing to revel against is women and themselves..."
  38. Freeman asked Bill Murray the secret to Ghostbusters everlasting appeal? His response? "Friendship."
  39. Ferris Bueller chapter
  40. "Class has always been the central story in America, not race. And when you're a teenager you really start to notice this."
  41. John Hughes wrote FBDO in 2 nights!
  42. "Clueless was so big it inevitably changed everything about how teen films were framed, including trend in pop culture of showing, not how middle class American teenagers actually live, but how they didn't even know they would like to live."
  43. "You can't sell a movie to Japan or China that is about specific American culture issues."
    James Russell
  44. Steel Magnolias
  45. "...this movie stars six female characters and there is not a single bitch fight not once do they even fight over a man."
  46. "Meg Ryan was originally cast to play Shelby, but she dropped out when she got the lead in When Harry Met Sally."
  47. "I enjoy writing women's emotional journeys, but it's hard today to get movies made that aren't based on comic books."
    Bob Harling
  48. "In 2004, while staying at home with her... daughter, Geena Davis noticed something odd about the movies and tv shows aimed at children: there were notably fewer female characters, and this absolutely floored her: 'Then something else shocked me: NO one seemed to be seeing what I was seeing: not my friends...not the decision makers in Hollywood."
  49. "Davis then ended up sponsoring the largest amount of research ever on gender depictions on entertainment media..."
  50. "Right after I did Bridesmaids, a very successful producer says to me, 'You're going to have to be careful because you're going to be put in this niche of directing women and that's a problem."
    -Paul Feig
  51. "In Bridesmaids and especially The Heat, what's at stake isn't whether a woman will Get a Man but rather the maintenance of a female friendship."
  52. "Critics have often used the fact that Meyers parlays her life into her work as proof that her work is somehow lightweight, or limited, or cheating, or just for women...when say Judd Apatow does this, however, he is praised for being honest, open, and accessible."
    Taylor Swift has the same criticism.
  53. Baby Boom chapter
  54. "One of my absolute favorite things about eighties movies set in the workplace is that make characters repeatedly fall for women who are emphatically more successful professionally than them, and that is part of their appeal."
  55. "Her working female characters, she says, are repeatedly described as "workaholics" by male film critics. 'She's hardworking, not a workaholic. Men don't even realize they're saying these things.' "
    -Nancy Meyers
  56. Eddie Murphy chapter
  57. "(Damon Wayans on the treatment of African Americans on SNL) eventually sabotaged a skit while on air and was duly fired and soon after established In Living Color..."
  58. Mickey Rourke was first choice for Axel Foley. Sylvestor Stallone was 2nd. "Bruckheimer and Simpson quickly hired Eddie Murphy for the role, and, in doing so, made the film the biggest hit of 1984 and one of the biggest hits of all time."
  59. "But even in Beverly Hills Cop, there were notable restrictions placed on Murphy: his on-screen romance...But because Murphy is black and Lisa is white, no romance can happen between them."
  60. "Instead in both Beverly Hills Cop and the sequel, Axel us rendered completely asexual, and deliberately oblivious to white women, even when one of those women is Brigitte Nielsen."
  61. About Coming to America having black actors but not being about their race...
  62. "This, though, was precisely the sort of thing that Spike Lee objected to: he didn't want covert success, or success within a white framework, and he certainly didn't see the point in making an African-American film if no one knew it was one. Whereas Murphy believed his success was the statement."
  63. "What Murphy achieved in the 80s is more than any black actor had done before him or has done since, and the proof of that is that no one has been able to move the representation of African-Americans in Hollywood pictures as significantly further forward since Murphy's era and the immediate years after."
  64. "No one was funnier in the 80s than Eddie Murphy. Goddamn, that man was funny. He could swear like opera singers sing and he would say more with his eyes in 2 seconds than other comedians manage with their voices in a year."
  65. And with that I'm off to rewatch Beverly Hills Cop!