There are great movies of the '80s and '80s movies that are great. And then there are some we still love for some other reason. That includes Just One of the Guys, which turns 30 years old this week. Just One of the Guys, released April 26, 1985, was somewhat of a modern spin on Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. It starred Joyce Hyser as Terry Griffith, a high school journalism student who is dismayed that teachers are encouraging her to pursue a career in modeling rather than journalism. (You should have listened, Terry! You'd have been much better off!) When she isn't chosen to be an intern at the big-city paper, she decides to enroll at a rival high school as a boy -- it helps to have the name Terry -- and compete for the internship on "equal terms" with the male competition.
Just One of the Guys probably benefits most from two things: Karate Kid's Billy Zabka plays another bully here, equally menacing but with a comic touch, and a memorable scene at the prom where Terry reveals she's really a girl by flashing her breasts to a guy she's fallen in love with. Okay, maybe more the second reason than the first.
"The film actually operates on so many different levels and deals with so many teenage issues from homophobia to the pressure that is put on kids to conform to a certain ideal, that it always surprised me that at the time of its release it was not really judged for the sum of all its parts," she said. "I always did get a good laugh over one criticism that I saw repeatedly, and that was that I was not really 'believable as a guy.'" Really? Are you kidding? I WASN'T a guy."
And as far as the breast scene?
"I had a NO nudity clause in my contract and I was quite adamant about not doing the reveal scene," Hyser told Old School. The scene was then shot both topless and more censored, leaving the actress to decide which version she'd approve. "Had I known then that one shot would end up on porn sites one day - there is not a chance in hell I would have ever done it. In the end I agreed to shoot it both ways if, and only if, the decision would be totally mine on which way we would go. After watching it both ways it was undeniable to me that this was in no way gratuitous and in fact it was essential to the unfolding of the story."
Critics were divided. The New York TimeswroteJust One of the Guys was "familiar but likable." The movie holds a 40 percent fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
TOP 5 MEMORABLE QUOTES FROM JUST ONE OF THE GUYS
5. "Budster, there's a half-naked woman in your bedroom feeding pizza to some fish, and she's all yours."
4. "The male body needs sex at all times! It's a living hell!"
3. "Of course you're confused. You're wearing my underwear."
2. "All balls itch! It's a fact!"
1. "It's OK, everybody, it's all right. He has t--s."
If you wanted to rock out with a social conscience, you could take an imaginary line and rotate to Jon Butcher Axis and find deep answers with Life Takes A Life.
John Butcher and his band Axis was a tight rock trio from Boston that produced many solid rock anthems during the ‘80s including the song that first got them noticed on MTV - Life Takes A Life. A hit of the Mainstream Rock charts in 1983, the video for Life Takes A Life follows guitarist Jon Butcher, bassist Chris Martin and drummer Derek Blevins from childhood playground friends to gun standoff enemies as adults.
Many viewed Butcher as a Jimi Hendrix disciple since he was a black guitarist and his band was possibly named after the Hendrix classic album Axis - Bold As Love with songs about social issues, but Butcher always said the connections were coincidental. With his hard rock sound, Butcher did find himself as one of the few black musicians not named Michael Jackson to appear regularly on MTV during 1983, before they opened up their playlists in 1984. …
Yesterday we wrapped up our feature week on John Hiatt, so as an encore; let's bring in good friends of Hiatt - Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit with Half A Boy, Half A Man.
Nick Lowe kept steady in the ‘80s whether it was putting out his own records, producing or just lending a hand playing bass on albums like John Hiatt's Bring the Family and Riding With The King. The Cowboy Outfit consisted on Lowe, Paul Carrack on keyboards, Martin Belmont on guitar and Bobby Irwin on drums. The band was formed in 1983 as the touring band for John Hiatt in support of the Riding With The King album. After the tour ended, Hiatt stayed in the states and Nick Lowe and His Cowboy Outfit went back to England and made an album of good-time rock-n-roll.
The video for Half A Boy, Half A Man finds the band down at the shore having an old-fashioned beach part complete with hula hoops, beach boys and muscle men. The 1984 song was a minor hit in the U.K. but did not chart in the U.S.
I hoped you enjoyed John Hiatt week and whether he has won you over or not, let's end it on a happy note with the joyous Thank You Girl and yet one more trip to visit the Cabazon Dinosaurs.
Before this week, John Hiatt had appeared once on Lost and Found back in 2013 with his epic Have A Little Faith In Me from the Bring the Family album.You can't talk about Hiatt without making 1987's Bring the Family the central part of the conversation as that was the album that changed his struggling career and life. …
Let's face it: When it came to dating in the '80s, none of us were any good at it. Well, I had a few friends at dear ole Countryside High School who were TOO good at it, but that's a story for another day. Buzzfeed has a hilarious item today about How to Be Popular With Boys, a dating guidebook for teenage girls written by Stacy Rubis back in 1984. (You can still buy a used copy on Amazon.com.)
Buzzfeed listed 29 truly mind-bending quotes from the book. I'm going to borrow my three favorite and then send you to Buzzfeed to read the rest.
"Boys get an ego boost from your awkwardness. It makes them feel more in control, more manly. And at the same time they get more protective toward shy, trembling you."
"Many boys think it’s sissylike to show affection. They think it’s uncool, feminine. And a boy will be darned if he’s going to act feminine. So he’ll ignore you. Or make crude jokes in your presence. Or flirt with your girl friends instead of you."
"Don’t take any chances when getting ready in the morning. Always put effort into looking good. Effort, plain effort, is often the only real difference between average and stunning girls."
Happy Earth Day. I apologize in advance for not sending a greeting card to everyone. I'm personally of the belief that if we cared about our planet more than just one day a year, it wouldn't be in the sorry shape it's in. Probably won't hurt either if we stopped electing public officials who refuse to say the words "global warming." Anyway, this isn't a political blog ... or is it? We'll let Duran Duran decide with this song.
Planet Earth, released in February 1981, was the first hit for Duran Duran. It reached No. 12 in the UK and was a bigger hit in Australia, where it climbed into the top 10.
Perhaps its best known for using the term "New Romantic" in the lyrics, as the band's nod toward the fledgling New Romantic movie that was just beginning to sweep the UK.
We have seen the evidence of John Hiatt as a master songwriter in the ‘80s, so let's give the guy a mic and play the bittersweet She Loves The Jerk by John Hiatt.
Though 1983's Riding With The King was John Hiatt's sixth album, She Loves The Jerk was Hiatt's first stab at a hit single and video. Like all his other efforts, the album was a critical success but little heard or bought by the public as maybe a witty song about a physical-abused wife doesn't exactly make a radio programmer ecstatic.
She Loves The Jerk is a simple video with a despondent Hiatt pacing the floor of his video shoot agonizing over a girl who married the wrong guy. The phone in the video is reference to the great line in the song "I hang up the phone and pretend she's in my arms. What I wouldn't give for just one-tenth of what she give Mister Charming." If the song sounds a little like an Elvis Costello record, that is because it has also been recorded by Costello and appears on his Goodbye Cruel World (1984) reissue. She Loves The Jerk was also a minor hit on the country charts in 1987 for Rodney Crowell. …
Rick Springfield and Loverboy are teaming up for a late summer tour that will also feature The Romantics on most tour stops. That's a lot of power pop for one night.
If you live in Cleveland, you get Donnie Iris instead of the Romantics. There are two dates in Florida, but sadly none for Tampa Bay.
Here are the dates:
8/29 – Delta Classic Chastain Park – Atlanta, GA 8/30 – St. Augustine Amphitheatre – St. Augustine, FL 9/2 – Hard Rock Live – Hollywood, FL 9/4 – Red Hat Amphitheater – Raleigh, NC 9/5 – Uptown Amphitheatre – Charlotte, NC 9/10 – First Merit Bank at Northerly Island – Chicago, IL 9/11 – Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica – Cleveland, OH* 9/12 – Borgata Event Center – Atlantic City, NJ 9/13 – PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, NJ 9/16 – NYCB Theater at Westbury – Westbury, NY 9/17 – Sands Event Center – Bethlehem, PA 9/18 – Freedom Hill – Detroit, MI 9/20 – PNC Pavilion – Cincinnati, OH 9/22 – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion – Houston, TX 9/23 – Zoo Amphitheatre – Oklahoma City, OK**
* Rick Springfield, Loverboy, Donnie Iris and The Cruisers ** Rick Springfield, Loverboy only
This just in ... 31 years later: A first draft of The Breakfast Club manuscript, written by John Hughes, was just discovered tucked away in a filing cabinet in a shuttered high school outside Chicago. The manuscript also reveals the movie's first proposed title: "Saturday Breakfast Club."
The Chicago Tribune reports that the script was found in the building once occupied by Maine North HIgh School. The surburban school was the sound stage for The Breakfast Club, released in 1985 but filmed there in spring 1984. "Reviewed and approved by Dr. Murphy" (then-superintendent) is written on the script in blue pen on the cover next to what appears to be a pizza grease stain, the paper reports.
The school was already closed when Hughes picked it to serve as the site for his movie, starring Molly Ringwald, Emilio Estevez, Anthony Michael Hall, Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy. Maine North also served as the high school for interior shots for Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Closed as a school in 1981, today the building serves as offices for a variety of state departments.
Among the other revelations from the script's discovery:
- An attached contact shows the the rental fee for the school was $48,000. …
An underrated cable movie of the early ‘80s was If You Could See What I Hear featuring the Beastmaster himself, Marc Singer, about overcoming blindness. In that vein, it is interesting that one of the most lovely songs about eyes in the ‘80s would be sung by the man whose was blind - Jeff Healy and Angel Eyes.
While recording Angel Eyes for his debut album, 22-year-old Canadian Jeff Healey would be cast as Cody, lead singer for the house band in the Patrick Swayze classic Road House. Bolstered by the movie, the title track of See The Light was released but did not hit the singles chart. The John Hiatt penned ballad Angel Eyes was released next and faired much better making it all the way to No. 5 on the singles chart in 1988. To show off the simplicity of the song and the unique guitar style of Healey, today we feature an acoustic version of Angel Eyes rather than the record company promotional video. …
When does this thing called love strike? For Bonnie Raitt it was at the end of the ‘80s with Thing Called Love.
For the first four days this week on Lost and Found we will feature the songs of John Hiatt. Even if you are not super familiar with John Hiatt, the singer, you might know his songs that have been performed by other artists. One musician who borrowed from the Hiatt catalog was Ronnie Raitt. Raitt was well regarded in blues-rock circles but in 1989 at age 39, she had yet to have mainstream success. The upswing in her career came with the video for Thing Called Love featuring a muscle-shirt, grinning Dennis Quaid at the height of his career coming off movies like Innerspace, D.O.A. and Suspect. …
The Force is strong with this trailer, the second one released for the new Star Wars movie by J.J. Abrams.
One thought: Does the opening scene, presumably a landspeeder racing across the desert in front of an Imperial starship, remind anyone of Abram's Star Trek reboot? You know, the scene where Kirk drives his motorcycle by the place where they're building Federation ships?
Yesterday we covered solo George Michael, so on Throwback Thursday, let's take it all back to where it started with Wham! UK and Bad Boys.
In 1983, I remember seeing the video for Bad Boys from a bunch of posers called Wham! UK. After a couple of viewings, I dismissed the group figuring them for an English flavor-of-the-month. By the end of 1984, Wham UK! changed to just Wham! and started their world domination with iconic songs like Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go and Careless Whisper.
As the years have passed, I've come to terms with Wham! and even enjoy listening to Bad Boys now. The song was their first ripple on the U.S. charts and only peaked at No. 60. The video for Bad Boys was an attempt to promote the rebellious image of the up-and-comers as like the song lyric goes, George Michael was only 19 years old when he wrote this song about staying out late, defying parental control and breaking all the rules. …
Duckie turns 50 years old today. That's Phillip F. Dale to you, scumwad. Actually, it's Jon Cryer to most of us. But seriously: John Cryer is 50 years old! Born Jonathan Niven Cryer in NYC on April 16, 1965, the actor will probably forever be known first as Duckie Dale from 1986's Pretty in Pink. (Something he reinforced this week with his amazing performance on the Late Late Show.)
Oh sure, TV fans will cry out and say, "What about him playing Alan Harper on Two and a Half Men for a billion years now?" What about it? I'm sure it's a nice paycheck, but '80s fans are a funny bunch of squirrels. We like our Cryer firmly stuck in the '80s.
TOP 5 MEMORABLE '80s ROLES FOR JON CRYER:
5. SUPERMAN IV - THE QUEST FOR PEACE (1987): "The Dude of Steel! Boy are you gonna get it!"
4. NO SMALL AFFAIR (1984): "Sometimes it seems like nothing ever works out. What's worse is sometimes things almost work out then fall apart. If this is the way life is how do people stand it?"
3. MORGAN STEWART'S COMING HOME (1987): "I've been free-basing Clearasil."
2. HIDING OUT (1987): "I used to be just like you: a short, horny, hopeless dork."
1. PRETTY IN PINK (1986): "We don't have none of this stuff in the boy's room! Wait a minute! We don't got none of this... we don't got doors on the stalls in the boy's room, we don't have, what is this? What's this? We don't have a candy machine in the boy's room!"
Relive the '80s music, movies and culture with Tampa Bay Times correspondent Steve Spears. A teen during the greatest decade ever, Steve is obsessed with everything from Duran Duran to Journey, John Hughes to John Cusack, and parachute pants to big hair.