The Eighties Club
The Politics and Pop Culture of the 1980s
Movie Reviews - X, Y, Z
You Can't Hurry Love
1988, Lightning, Rated R

David Packer
Bridget Fonda
Anthony Geary

Written & Directed by Richard Martini

When Eddie (David Packer) breaks up with his girlfriend, he heads for sunny California to move in with his ne'er-do-well buddy Skip, who proceeds to inform him that what makes California so great is that you can pretend to be whatever you want to be and get away with it. Eddie takes this information to heart when, desperate to find someone to love, he tries out a video dating service. The girl he's really interested, Peggy (Bridget Fonda) works at the service, but she seems to be taken, so he proceeds to make one video after another, passing himself off as a sophisticated yuppie in one, a headbanger in another, etc. His dates, of course, turn out to be disasters, because he isn't being himself. And that, of course, is the moral of this lightweight Eighties morality tale -- that the secret to success is sincerity. Only when Eddie stops trying to remake himself does he win the girl of his dreams.
Written and directed by Richard Martini, who was also responsible for 1987's Three for the Road, You Can't Hurry Love is a run-of-the-mill comedy with precious few bright spots. The two leads, Packer and Fonda, are entirely too bland and are consistently upstaged by the supporting cast, in particular Anthony Geary as an eccentric beach entrepreneur who lives in a box, Kristy McNichol as a way-out performance artist, and Charles Grodin, who's responsible for one of the movie's funniest scenes as he plays the embittered father of one of Eddie's dates, who lectures Eddie about the repercussions of not using a condom. Look for David Leisure, most famous as the chronic liar Joe Isuzu in a series of Eighties car commercials, in a small part. The soundtrack is your typical Top 40 roundup, including the Phil Collins remake of the '60s hit from which the title of the film was derived.

Eighties Club rating: **

US box office: $333,000
US release date: 1.20.88

"Good Lovin'," The Rascals
"Wild Night," Van Morrison
"Addicted To Love," Robert Palmer
"You Can't Hurry Love," Phil Collins
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1986, MGM/UA, Rated R

Rob Lowe
Cynthia Gibb
Patrick Swayze

Directed by Peter Markle
Written by Peter Markle & John Whitmore

Yet another in a seemingly endless string of '80s films spawned by Rocky; you know the routine -- the hero striving to realize his dream, facing trial after tribulation, and in the end courageously enduring a  crisis of faith (with the help of the girl, of course) to emerge triumphant -- a tried and true formula based on a reaffirmation of America's cherished "can do" attitude about, well, nearly everything.  In this case Rob Lowe plays Dean Youngblood, a farmer's son whose dream has always been to become a professional hockey player.  He has the skill, but is he tough enough?  Earning a tryout with the Hamilton Mustangs, Youngblood makes the team, falls in love with the coach's daughter (Cynthia Gibb), and is befriended by teammate Derek Sutton (Patrick Swayze.)  But when Dutton is gravely injured by the villain of this piece, an opposing team's player who makes a Neanderthal look like a Smurfette, Youngblood is so shaken that he quits the team and goes home to the farm.  Does he have what it takes to go back and lead the Mustangs to victory -- not to mention avenge his friend?
     Youngblood was written and directed by Peter Markle, who played hockey at Yale.  (Eric Nesterenko, a former NHL pro, appears as Youngblood's father in this film.)  Some aficionados of the sport love the movie, others hate it.  In a film as predictable as this -- come on, we know how it's going to end, don't we? -- the hockey scenes are what must work to keep our interest, and they aren't half bad.  A good supporting cast helps, too.  Rob Lowe, does a good job with the lead role.  Casting him as hockey player turned out not to be as ludicrous as it may have seemed at first blush; after all, the audience is supposed to wonder how tough such a pretty boy can really be.  Look for Keanu Reeve in his screen debut.  The best scene (other than the ones on the ice): when Youngblood discovers what afternoon tea with Mrs. Gill, his nympho landlady, really entails.

Eighties Club rating: **

US box office: $15.4 million
US release date: 1.31.86

"Something Real," Mr. Mister
"Winning Is Everything," Autograph
"Get Ready," Diana Ross & The Supremes"
"Cut You Down To Size," Starship
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