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PODCAST: Men’s dreams come true in XANADU

xanadu riley

Xanadu is a pure, sweet romantic musical fantasy down to the kissing animated fish. Wait…what? You know, like the man dressed like a spider crawling under women’s legs. Huh? Xanadu is a fever dream: crazy imagery and chaos that seems awesome but when you wake up, you realize none of it made sense. But, just Olivia Newton-John sings, it’s hard to deny that Xanadu is, indeed, “magic.”

XANADU is a fever dream of a film, and while mostly innocent, it still delivered a stifling ’80s era message to girls.

’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents podcasters Riley Roberts (pictured above) and Tara McNamara give their take on the roller disco musical fantasy that will leave you both humming and scratching your head. They cover the What the Heck elements, what makes it hold up, and how – even in a squeaky clean PG film, it delivered another chip in the Gen X psyche.

Give the podcast a listen and then check out our Xanadu guide page for the full explanation of what went right and went went wrong.

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PODCAST: CASUAL SEX? Writer Wendy Goldman explains how a female buddy musical comedy turned into an Andrew “Dice” Clay rom-com.

Tara McNamara Riley Roberts take on CASUAL SEX? (1988)
Tara McNamara and Riley Roberts give their take on Casual Sex? (1988) with an interview with the film’s writer Wendy Goldman on the “’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents” podcast. To listen on iTunes, go HERE.
Casual Sex? on Blu-ray

If you haven’t seen Casual Sex? starring Lea Thompson and Victoria Jackson, you must. At first glance, it’s a cute rom-com about two women who are looking for Mr. Right after the AIDS health crisis scared them off Mr. Right Now hook-ups. It takes place at a Club Med knock-off, the exercise fad, jokes about mineral water, and Lea Thompson’s hair are so, so ’80s. But, on closer look , it’s a tale of ’80s Hollywood history. As the “making of” story is unwound, it’s an education in how male-dominated Hollywood stuck their thumb into and managed to totally alter and mangle what is likely the most female-centric film production of the 1980’s.

Wendy Goldman screenwriter CASUAL SEX?
Wendy Goldman discusses how a 3-song musical sketch became a feature film.

While there are a few head-scratching moments, it remains a charmer, thanks to the talent of the actors, the director Genevieve Robert, and screenwriters Wendy Goldman and the late Judy Toll. Goldman explained how it all went down with our podcast hosts Tara McNamara and Riley Roberts in the latest episode of ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents.

Goldman’s insights are also worked into our complete guide to the film. And, check out Tara interviewing Lea Thompson about Casual Sex? when the romp airs on Day 1 of HDNet Movies Iconic ’80s week on July 22 at 9:45pE/6:45p PST.

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We co-host ICONIC ’80s Week with Lea Thompson on HDNET Movies!

Lea Thompson Tara McNamara Iconic 80s week HDNET Movies

The founder of ’80s Movie Guide, Tara McNamara, will interview actress-director Lea Thompson for “Iconic ’80s,” a week-long special airing July 22-27 exploring the ’80s through its movies on HDNET Movies. The duo provide insightful discussion on each film in the lineup, which includes St. Elmo’s Fire, Stripes, Short Circuit, Christine, and more.

It’s also a Some Kind of Wonderful week because the event takes place during the 30th wedding anniversary of Lea Thompson to that movie’s director, Howard Deutch; the couple met while working on the film (Amanda Jones DID get the guy she wanted, did you expect anything else?) Thompson shares insights on what it was like to work on John Hughes’ final teen film. She also talks about working with prolific ’80s producer-director Ivan Reitman on the comedy Casual Sex?, the first studio film to acknowledge AIDS.

Additionally, Thompson shares stories about what it was like to be an actress during that decade and what it was like to work with other ’80s icons like Steven Spielberg, Cameron Crowe, Robert Zemeckis, Patrick Swayze, and Michael J. Fox.

Interview snippets are airing on the network NOW to remind viewers of the upcoming movie marathon. HDNET Movies shows films uninterrupted and unedited, just as they showed in the theater. They lean toward showing ’80s movies, box office hits and award-winning films, often packaged in creatively-themed memorable movie marathons. Enjoy the ’80s movies and insider info – and support 80sMovieGuide.com! – by watching and sharing your thoughts on social media Monday, July 22- Friday, July 27.