Monday, December 14, 2015

4 Movies you should see - really.

Last Thursday while going back and forth on netflix and finding nothing, I discovered one of my forgotten favorite movies, Beautiful Girls. I can watch that movie over and over.

So what?

Over the past few days and talking to a few friends comprised of two writers, a director, two actors, an agent, a comedian and a locations manager.

They all agreed.

Here's what I figured out. Beautiful Girls is part of a group of four movies that have a lot of the same story, yet each of them is really good by themselves. And there is a strong connection. They are (in connection) a really good version of at least three generations.

American Graffiti 1973
Diner 1982
The Breakfast Club 1985
Beautiful Girls 1996

All of these movies are very similar to each other but the casts are very different, the 60's movie was basically my teenage story. Following that Diner was my brother's movie, The Breakfast Club was showing distance from my world, but not really. Beautiful Girls wraps it all up.

Let's look at each one closer;

American Graffitti made a lot of stars from that movie, including Richard Dreyfuss and of course, Harrison Ford and Ronny Howard who graduated from the Andy Griffith Show and to become a successful director himself. And at least a dozen others who went to movies and TV series. 

Graffiti was about graduating from high school, going out into the world that was waiting to tear you apart. We were the JFK people, three assassinations before 1970. Graffiti was just before that, when America was ready to go to the moon. And they did, but at a cost.

Diner was what happened to the graduates that followed my boomer generation. They were GenX and Diner reflected very much the same as Graffiti, the music was different but the story of a group of people was very much identical.  

The big names of Diner were Kevin Bacon, Mickey Rourke, Ellen Barkin, all still working. Again it was built around males, rather than females, but that's the time it was. I think women have not yet caught up.

Breakfast Club, set in one day of highschool. And again a group of high school teens who were being punished. This time the cast was more mixed, although no ethic groups. That would come later. Actors in it were Emilio Estevzz (Charley Sheen's younger brother) and Molly Ringwald had reasonable runs in the business, but the others quickly dropped off.

Then Beautiful Girls with Timothy Hutton, Matt Dillon and a small part for Uma Thurman. This story was about a group of guys again facing thirty eventually. Like Diner, they were of working man stock, not rich nor having any chance of it. The highlight of Beautiful Girls, however, was a 15-year old girl playing 13. Natalie Portman. She steals the movie (below).

Like Jennifer Lawrence does now.

So there you go. I could have mentioned Ferris Bueller's Day Off, but that wasn't a group like the ones I've mentioned. I also considered The Big Chill which probably could have squeezed into this group.

Then there was the music.

American Graffiti blasts every other movie, it had early 60's rock and roll every minute of the movie, and not just parts. It was wall-to-wall music so I won't even start, it would take another page.

Diner had similar music, maybe a lot more Black music being that the movie was set in Baltimore whereas Graffiti was in very white northern California farmland. 

Breakfast Club was set "somewhere" in Illinois and had GenX music although some Cream in there. By now the music industry realized that using real music from bands and singers could bring money. When American Grafitti got a ton of songs, the music industry realized that money was to be made. 

Now, if you want 30 seconds of a 60's song it could cost $100,000.

Beautiful Girls was set in Minnesota in winter. It had a combination of music, Billy Preston, Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side" and "oldtimer" Neil Diamond. Otherwise the rest of the music was from bands nobody heard of.

So there you go.

No comments:

Post a Comment