Sunday, December 18, 2011

Top That

The other night at dinner with some friends, we started talking about movies of our childhood. I'm not really sure how the conversation even began. What is it about movies or TV shows from childhood that can bond people and bring up such happy memories? Everyone immediately starts sharing which shows they loved or which movies their parents wouldn't let them watch. Which ones they watched continually and which ones they were forced to watch by their sister.

So, we were drinking, talking and reminiscing about which 80s movies we had or hadn't seen. It soon became clear that I have seen every girly 80s movie made. Well, the good ones anyway. Apparently, I'm a connoisseur of girly 80s movies. Is there such a thing?

I don't know if there is, but I do love me some classic 80s movies. Nothing can put a smile on my face faster than flipping through the channels and finding a showing of Dirty Dancing. Especially the dance lesson montage scene. Or 16 Candles? Who didn't want to sit with Jake Ryan on their glass dining room table and blow out the candles on their 16th birthday? Um, I know I did.

One of my friends hadn't seen Girls Just Want to Have Fun. Are you kidding me? I do believe that is sacrilege. How can you not have seen that bastion of 80s awesomeness with Sarah Jessica Parker, Helen Hunt and Shannon Doherty? Classic.

But, one of my favorite movies from the annals of 80s moviedom is actually a lesser-known Hollywood production. Shockingly, despite the awesome singing, dancing and rapping throughout the movie, not one actor "broke out" after the movie. And, not so shockingly, only one of my friends had seen it. Here goes, with full confession, one of my favorite 80s movies of all time is ... Teen Witch.

Is that crickets chirping I hear?

Yes, I know many of you probably have no idea what I'm talking about. It wasn't a high-grossing movie, but it is chock-full of so much magnificence, you really should check it out. It has a teen with magical powers, a cute boy who falls in love with the previously unseen girl, and singing, dancing and rapping breaking out in all the key scenes. It's like a mix of Glee and Twilight before there was a Glee or Twilight. Plus, it comes complete with giant permed hair, acid wash jeans and crop tops. How can that not be amazing?

So, to educate you all, I've included some of the key clips from this underrated 80s classic. Please watch, take notes, and enjoy.

First up, the "Most Popular Girl" scene. See, Louise gets magical powers for her 16th birthday (And, really, after the 80s movies, didn't everyone else's 16th birthdays kind of suck? No magical powers or Jake Ryan!), so of course, she wishes to be popular. And, it works! Her hair is suddenly bigger and skirts shorter - the surefire way to ensure popularity. Naturally, the singing commences.

And, next, here is a scene in the girls' locker room. All the cheerleaders start dancing around to a song about how they like boys. Yup, that's pretty much the extent of it. Still not entirely sure what plot line it contributes to, but they all have giant permed hair and wear Jane Fonda style leotards.

And last, but most definitely not least, the "Top That" scene. My god, how can you not love this? From the guy's cropped shirt to the hat and hair on the girl. So much unintentional humor. Rapping, in the street, with a boombox. Yes. Here you go:

Ok, so maybe you're not seeing it. Maybe the greatness of this movie has a teensy, weensy bit to do with the nostalgia factor. It has such amazing 80s cheese that you could probably top a couple dozen pizzas with it. But, I don't care. That's what makes it oh, so good. I loved it when I was young, and I love it now. Who didn't want to have magical powers to make themselves cool when they were in high school? Now, if only you could figure out a way to do that and get Jake Ryan to show up at your house in his red convertible. You would be the most awesome 16-year-old ever. And, let's be honest, isn't that truly the whole point of every 80s movie anyway?

Top That.


  1. Amy, I JUST watched this movie for the first time about a month ago. I just happened to catch it on TV, and (being a 90s child, I'm a long-time Sabrina the Teenage With Fan), any teenaged witch appeals to me.

  2. So ummm...I've never seen Sixteen Candles or Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. I can rattle off obscure movies from the 40s, but I've missed most of the 80's despite growing up then. I guess I should add a few to my netflix list.

  3. Laura, I wish I would've remembered how sorely lacking your 80s movie repertoire was. We so should've caught you up while I was up in MN in September!!!

  4. And, Katie, I'm so glad that you caught this movie. Admit it, you loved it ;)