Throwbacks Week: Comedies from the '80s and '90s

 They just don’t make ’em like this any more! There is a certain type of cheesiness, by our standards today, which accompanies many of the commercial, mainstream movies that came out of the ’80s and ’90s. It is, however, this unique bit of cheesiness that compels us to love these films, and helps in their power to endure today. What about Bob? (1991) takes two exaggerated type characters, Bob, the neurotic New Yorker whose inability to function normally controls almost every aspect of his daily life, and Dr. Leo Marvin, Bob’s extremely egotistical psychiatrist, and creates a comedy around their inescapable codependence. The comedic aspects occur when it seems the two men are trying to out do each other, whether it be inadvertently on Bob’s end or intentionally on Dr. Marvin’s. By continuously taking their strained relationship one step further, reaching such extremes by the film’s end, the viewer is left laughing at the film’s close, no matter how grossly improbable the story. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) uses an ensemble cast to explore high school archetypes and dilemmas. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) was one of the first in a generation of teen sex comedy films, most notably those by John Hughes that would come as the decade progressed. The film recalls the way in which Rebel Without a Cause (1955) connected with the then emerging “teenager,” but brings this connection in a much more lighthearted way to the teens of the early ’80s. He Said, She Said (1991) stars Kevin Bacon as Dan and Elizabeth Perkins as Lorie, who are two newspaper columnists out to prove that opposites attract. Though this film did not make the same impact as the previous two, it, nevertheless, does take an interesting and playful look at timeless struggle between men and women and the discrepancies in their perceptions. Many of the film’s scenes are presented first through Dan’s point of view and then through Lorie’s point of view, taking a slightly different approach to the typical rom-com opposites attract movie. This week get in tune with your sentimental and comedic sides, throw on your best ’80s or ’90s outfit (I know you all have one!), and indulge in one of these guilty pleasure films!