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Friday, August 22, 2008

Moral Ambiguity In The '80s

During the last couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to view three '80s films that I haven't seen in awhile. While the films were still good there were three distinct WTF moments that happened.

Trading Your Girlfriend In For A Newer Model
[Caroline is very drunk]
Caroline: Who's he?
Jake: That's me.
Caroline: Who are you?
Jake: I'm him.
Caroline: Oh, ok.

While Sixteen Candles is supposed to be about a girl's family forgetting her sixteenth birthday, it centers mostly on super stud Jake Ryan. For any teenage girl (at least in the '80s) he was the ultimate wet dream. The hunky seemingly perfect senior willing to jettison his hot, perfect, girlfriend for the gawky sophomore in a quest for something more serious. The movie wraps Jake in a pretty little bow and presents him to Molly Ringwald like a gift from the Gods and everything is happy.

Except for one glaring error Jake hands his too drunk to notice current girlfriend off to a geek with no problem. A nerd he has known all of a single day. Before the trade off he callously says "I can get a piece of ass anytime I want. Shit, I've got Caroline in the bedroom right now, passed out cold. I could violate her ten different ways if I wanted to." He then proceeds to say "I want a serious girlfriend. Somebody I can love, that's gonna love me back. Is that psycho?". (No Jake but I get the funny feeling you might be.) Surely there are more than one reason violating a passed out girl would be wrong.

The only thing he says to his new found geek pal is to make sure she gets home and not to leave her in parking lot somewhere. How about "Dude don't take advantage of her" or better yet "What am I saying, I'll let her crash here and break it off with her then". Nope he hands over the keys to his Dad's Rolls Royce and lets them go with nary a thought to her well being.

Later in the film Caroline wakes up in a church parking lot with the geek and is sure she and him had relations. However rather than be furious at what her "boyfriend" and this geek put her through, she likes being with the geek and has a nice break-up with Jake to boot. If any boyfriend of mind had stuck me with a stranger while I was too drunk to comprehend what was going on, he'd be in traction for a long time.

You Tricked Me Into Sleeping With You And It's O.K

Revenge of the Nerds is the ultimate nerd fantasy. The nerd-driven Tri-Lambda house goes head to head with the abusive jock-driven Alpha Betas. In true '80s glory the nerds stand up to their tormentors, win the coveted student council spot, and one of the nerds (Louis) steals the head Alpha's girlfriend (Betty) from him.

How Louis won Betty is highly questionable. At the big carnival Betty wants boyfriend Stan to go off and fool around with her. Stan who is happily manning the kissing booth refuses. Betty goes off to sulk in this weird moon setup, Louis grabs Stan's abandoned Darth Vader costume and follows. Betty assumes Stan had a change of heart and nails him without Louis identifying himself or even removing said mask.

Betty is stunned to find out that she has slept with a nerd but since nerds are good in the sack and jocks are not, she's totally cool with this near rape experience. The couple will later turn up in the sequels happily married. Again if it were me, traction, 'nuff said.

Intergalactic Bestiality

Unlike the two aforementioned mentions there is nothing truly right about Howard The Duck. The only good thing I remember aside from the unbelievably catchy title song......

was this cool little Pez dispenser that my Mom got me. It lasted until I cadged the cigar from Howard's beak and gave it to my Ken doll. Yes kiddies we had Pez dispensers with cigars, we also had candy cigarettes which I miss, but that's a whole other rant, moving on.

Howard is an alien duck who is suddenly plucked from his planet and thrown into 1980s Cleveland. He meets meets up with punk rocker Beverly and has to battle evil overlords in order to try to get home. However getting home will ultimately destroy Earth so Howard makes the ultimate sacrifice and stays put. But at least he has Beverly who has no qualms about macking with a duck. Because apparently it isn't bestiality if he's from another planet. I beg to differ I would end this with if it happened to me but I won't. Because I would never date a duck.