’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents podcast

Sixteen Candles Riley Roberts

Podcast: Racism, rape culture & Jake Ryan: How SIXTEEN CANDLES influenced a generation

By Tara McNamara / May 4, 2021 /

Humorously showing the emotional pain of teenagers aching for true love amid the social expectations of high school, Sixteen Candles turned a teen sex comedy into an pop cultural phenomenon that was watched by every ’80s kid. Mentored by National Lampoon, known for its intentionally offensive humor, John Hughes imbued relatable and aspirational three-dimensional characters with racist and misogynistic attitudes. The depiction of a Chinese foreign exchange…

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cast of St. Elmo's Fire 1985

Podcast: ST. ELMO’S FIRE reflects how life in the ’80s truly was “out of hand.”

By Tara McNamara / April 9, 2021 /

St. Elmo’s Fire was a response to the teen films of the 1980s, examining what happens after college.  Joel Schumacher crafted an authentic and progressive story about the emotional lives and professional challenges of seven recent Georgetown grads, reflecting young women focused on career rather than marriage and introducing the idea of a gay lead character (a baby step, but…

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Little Darlings Riley Roberts Tara McNamara

Podcast: LITTLE DARLINGS gave us Lecherous Devils

By Tara McNamara / March 19, 2021 /

Tara McNamara and Riley Roberts offer their take on LITTLE DARLINGS on their podcast ’80s Movies: A Guide to What’s Wrong with Your Parents.

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Andrew McCarthy Molly Ringwald Jon Cryer Pretty in Pink

Podcast: Why PRETTY IN PINK’s OG Simp Duckie was never gonna get the girl.

By Tara McNamara / February 28, 2021 /

Before John Hughes, a movie couldn’t be made that was just about who was going to take a girl to prom. But with a high school divided into the haves and have nots, Hughes was able to make a love story of Romeo and Juliet proportions. The relationshp was bigger than working-class Andie and Yuppie son Blane:…

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Risky Business Riley Roberts

Podcast: RISKY BUSINESS Declared Women are Products and Money is all that Matters.

By Tara McNamara / January 22, 2021 /

When you’re looking to explain the 1980s, look to Risky Business. Teens were attracted to the Paul Brickman comedy by the music video featuring Tom Cruise dancing in his underpants. Running constantly on MTV, teens watched and rewatched the “Old Time Rock n’ Roll” music video and its resonant clips of a line of beautiful prostitutes walking into Joel’s house,…

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Podcast: MODERN PROBLEMS is the most off the rails look at the early ’80s crisis of masculinity.

By Tara McNamara / December 25, 2020 /

Modern Problems (1981) is the weirdest, off the rails, PG-rated Christmas hit. It’s biggest problem was turning a raunchy mature R-film into a PG one so that it could be released on Christmas Day. Families flocked to to the theater to see a story about an air traffic controller with jealousy issues with scenes featuring a male ballet…

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9 to 5 Parton Fonda Tomlin

Podcast: 9 TO 5 is a snapshot of 1980

By Tara McNamara / December 18, 2020 /

Pour yourself a cup of ambition, it’s the 40th Anniversary of 9 to 5! Wonderfully executed as a broad office buddy comedy, 9 to 5 made a definitive impact in creating empathy and understanding for women in the workplace. Film authorities Tara McNamara, Gen X, and Riley Roberts, Gen Z, look back at the 1980…

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Stir Crazy Tara McNamara Riley Roberts

Podcast: Why STIR CRAZY’s black-white buddy comedy holds up 40 years later.

By Tara McNamara / December 11, 2020 /

In 1980, Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor’s follow-up to their 1976 hit Silver Streak was highly anticipated. Despite critic’s panning the film, Stir Crazy did double the business, was the 3rd highest grossing film of the year, and broke box office records. The prison buddy comedy holds up 40 years later, largely because two of Hollywood’s most powerful black figures (Pryor and…

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Riley Roberts The Outsiders Two Bit

Podcast: Did THE OUTSIDERS perpetuate or explore toxic masculinity?

By Tara McNamara / December 4, 2020 /

The Outsiders is one of the most popular teen books in the 1980s, and teens couldn’t wait to see the movie directed by one of the biggest names in cinema. Featuring a Who’s Who of Who Was and Who Would Become Famous — including Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Diane Lane, Emilio…

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Riley Roberts podcast Beverly Hills Cop

Podcast: BEVERLY HILLS COP blazed a new path of positive portrayals while encouraging corruption

By Tara McNamara / November 13, 2020 /

Beverly Hills Cop was the No. 1 movie in 1984, a year that many consider one of cinema’s best. As Detroit police detective Axel Foley (a role originally written for white actors Mickey Rouke and then Sylvester Stallone), Eddie Murphy made headway for black authority figures as lead characters — a huge step toward positive…

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