Our '80s Shue fetish
Elisabeth Shue is a complex creature of the decade. She only appeared in four really big movies during the decade -- easily half the number of credits of her peers. And even those roles were a little too watered down at times.
KARATE KID (1984): Is anyone else creeped out that Shue's "Ali" character is twice the size of love-interest Ralph Macchio? To this day, I think Ali had a better chance of taking out Daniel-San than Cobra Kai's "Johnny" did. And then they just write her out of the sequel by having her dump Macchio on prom night? Heartless!
ADVENTURES IN BABYSITTING (1987): This is a movie that's always on sale at Target for like $5, and every time I go, I'm THIS close to buying it and still don't. I remember loving Shue as "Chris Parker," the babysitter who also is a dead-ringer for the Playmate of the month. And the Chicago club scene -- "Nobody gets out of here without singing the blues" -- is classic. But something is still missing. (A nude scene with a future '80s blogger? Think about it, Hollywood!)
COCKTAIL (1988): Ah, the infamous waterfall scene. What red-blooded guy hasn't thought of going to Jamaica if only for the totally shallow reason of trying to re-create that moment in our love lives. My question: If she's not pregnant, does she still take Tom Cruise back in the end? "Coughlin's Law: Never fall for a Scientologist ... your future acting career will never be taken seriously by the press."
BACK TO THE FUTURE II (1989): So you just co-starred in three relatively successful '80s flicks, so why do you play the largely paper-thin role of "Jennifer Parker" in this trilogy? Though it does make her other 1989 work -- starring as a doctor in Disney's Epcot Center ride "Body Wars" -- look like a career highlight.
Aww, don't hate on the Shue. She turned it all around in the '90s with flicks like The Saint and Leaving Las Vegas. Shue, who turns 45 years old today, is still looking for that great role. She's currently working on Waking Madison, a movie about a woman with multiple personality disorder trying to piece her life back together.
She's also rumored to be working with her Saint co-star Val Kilmer again in The Hard Ride. Nice movie, my lovely Elisabeth. Just stay clear of that Macchio reunion.
[Photo from Karate Kid]