Best comedies of the 80's
May 7, 2000 (Updated May 9, 2000)
I'm a child of the 80's...went to high school in the 80's, had my first boyfriend in the 80's, had horrible haircuts (just like everyone else) in the 80's, and met my now-husband in the 80's. Here's my list of the best 80's comedies - the ones that you can still quote and the ones that still bring back memories. In no particular order:
SIXTEEN CANDLES - How can you not love Anthony Michael Hall? This movie is a classic. The then "it" girl Molly Ringwald, of course, gets the guy in the end, but it's what she has to go through to get to the end that is the best. This movie is good from start to finish. Who doesn't have a little brother like Justin Henry? (no offense, Jonathon!)
Classic moments - Anthony Michael Hall trapped under the glass coffee table, Justin Henry laughing at Molly Ringwald and running into the bathroom door, Joan Cusack trying to drink from the water fountain, Gedde Watanabe describing what happened to grandpa's car.
"Last night my little brother paid a buck to see your underwear."
"Kids - that darn rock and roll rubbish."
"Well, I'm afraid it's here to stay, Howard."
BEETLEJUICE - I know that I may be one of the few to say this is in the top 10 of the 80's, but I watch it every time it's on and never get tired of it. This is one of the few movies I like Geena Davis in, and although Michael Keeton, Alec Baldwin, and Winona Ryder are fantastic, it's Catherine O'Hara and Jeffrey Jones that make the movie.
Classic moments - naturally the day-o scene at the dinner table, and the special effects throughout the movie are fantastic.
"I've come for your daughter Chuck."
PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES - John Candy and Steve Martin. Together. Traveling across the country. Need I say more?
Classic moments - John Candy soaking his socks in the sink, clearing his sinuses before bed.
"Where's your other hand?"
"Between two pillows."
"THOSE AREN'T PILLOWS!"
"How 'bout them Bears?!!"
FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF - Ferris skips school and convinces his good buddy Cameron to come along. I can skip this part because literally everyone has seen and loves this movie.
Classic moments - Ferris taking a shower, Cameron throwing a fit before getting in the car, Ben Stein calling roll, Jeanie throwing the wallet over the fence, and of course the Ferrari rolling out of the house.
Remember what the license plate said? NRVOUS.
"This is my 9th sick day this semester. It's getting pretty tough coming up with new illnesses. If I go for 10, I'm probably gonna have to barf up a lung. So I better make this one count."
NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION - The Griswolds' trip to Walley World reminded my little brother and I of our family trip to Disney World. Stuck in the back of an automobile being driven hundreds of miles across the country makes comedy out of real life.
Classic moments - Aunt Edna on the roof, seeing the Grand Canyon, Christie Brinkley's horrible dancing, John Candy riding the roller coaster, every scene with Eddie (Randy Quaid).
"Oh God - the dog peed on the picnic basket!"
NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION - Cheesy, but it's also a favorite. The Griswolds' Christmas, complete with Chevy Chase's obsession with the Christmas lights and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the yuppie neighbor. Randy Quaid is brilliant as usual as Eddie.
Classic moments - the squirrel flying out of the tree, sledding, Clark dreaming of a backyard swimming pool, the dog barfing under the table.
"Eddie, is he alright?"
"Aw, he's just yacking on a bone."
A CHRISTMAS STORY - The story of little Ralphie back in the 1940's and how much he wanted his Red Ryder BB Gun. We watch this one every Christmas without fail.
Classic moments - turning on the lamp, the Bumpass' dogs eating the turkey, Ralphie blinded by soap poisoning, the bunny costume, triple dog dare.
"Meatloaf, meatloaf, double beetloaf, I HATE meatloaf!"
"F-R-A-G-I-L-E...well, it's Italian!!"
AIRPLANE! - this movie is a classic comedy in everyone's book. Start to finish, it's relentless spoofing makes it a favorite.
Classic moments - the s**t hitting the fan, Ted's drinking problem, the automatic pilot.
"Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue."
THE BREAKFAST CLUB - what goes on in high school detention? why are they all there? The "brat" pack at its finest. With a lesson.
Classic moments - Anthony Michael Hall explaining about the library's fire exits, Ally Sheedy making a sandwich, Judd Nelson's "gee dad, wouldn't that be swell?" speech.
"I wanna be an airborne ranger!"
BETTER OFF DEAD - Lane's girlfriend dumps him for someone who can ski the K-12. It's his race to beat the guy on skis to win back the girl who doesn't hold a candle to the French exchange student staying with little Ricky across the street.
Classic moments - see below
"It has raisins in it...you like raisins."
"Gee, I'm sorry your mom blew up Ricky."
"Do you have Christmas in France?"
"Go that way very fast. If something gets in your way, turn."
HONORABLE MENTION AND FAVORITES FROM OTHER DECADES (also known as "other movies I can recite word for word")
Mr. Mom (Michael Keaton and Teri Garr)
Young Frankenstein (Gene Wilder, Teri Garr, Madeline Kahn)
Dutch (on my top 10 list of all time) (Ed O'Neill, Ethan Randall)
Bronco Billy (Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
When Harry Met Sally