Challenge Week 50: Footloose

I love musicals and movies about dance, but I have to admit I put off watching this one for a couple of reasons: first, I dislike ’80’s movies in general, and second, the story as I understood it was about a town that has outlawed dancing and the city kid who comes to show them the error of their ways, and that just sounded corny and dumb.

It actually plays surprisingly well, though, despite that being 100% exactly the story. I knew the title song already (I’ve avoided a lot of ’80s culture, but some things are unavoidable), and liked it, and the opening titles with just closeups of feet dancing actually already had me on the movie’s side. I do get a little irritated by the narrow-minded depiction of conservative Christians as, well, narrow-minded.

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Challenge Week 50: Some Kind of Wonderful

Teen/coming-of-age/1980s movies are often a hard sell for me, but John Hughes-penned ones have a bit of heart and tenderness that hit me in the right place, so I was hoping Some Kind of Wonderful, one of the few I’d missed up to this point, would fit the bill as well, and it pretty much did. I’m also one of the people who think Pretty in Pink would’ve been better if she’d ended up with Duckie, so if you’ve seen both films, you may guess how I felt about this one on that front.

Keith (Eric Stoltz) is a high school kid who cares more about art than college, and is kind of on the lower rung of the ladder at school in terms of social class – his family is working class, and he envies the more well-off kids from white-collar families. He’s best friends with a tomboyish girl, Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson), but has eyes for Amanda (Lea Thompson), who runs with the posh crowd. Yes, this is turning into a love triangle.

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Challenge Week 49: Love’s Enduring Promise

This is the (first) sequel to Love Comes Softly, so it was nice to see them so close together. And I was actually interested to see more of Marty and Clark’s story, even though the first movie tied it off pretty nicely.

This is mostly Missy’s story, though – the 9-year-old daughter from the first film. It’s now ten years later, and Missy is a schoolteacher (using those reading skills she learned from Marty in the first film) in the community’s one-room schoolhouse. And she’s played by January Jones, which strikes me now as pretty dumb casting, but I mean, Jones was very young here and didn’t have Mad Men baggage. I swear, she smiles more in ten minutes of this movie than she has in the entire corpus of other work I’ve seen her in. But still, she just seems VERY unlike the Missy of the earlier film – I can’t imagine that spitfire of a 9-year-old growing up into this dismissive and bland young woman.

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Challenge Week 49: Love Comes Softly

I tend not to seek out Hallmark-type movies, but when on vacation with my cousins this year, they heard about my challenge and wanted to give me some movies, and this is what my cousin’s teenage daughter assigned me. I’m game for anything!

The pioneer setting helps a lot, as I was a big fan of the Little House books as a kid and stuff like that, plus I’m definitely a huge fan of westerns in general. Not necessarily a huge fan of Katherine Heigl, but thanks to a short-lived obsession with Grey’s Anatomy, I tend to want to give her the benefit of the doubt.

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Challenge Week 48: Son of Frankenstein

True confession time. I have apparently seen this. I don’t know why I didn’t log it (either on Flickchart OR Letterboxd), and I was looking forward to it as a new-to-me Frankenstein film. But once it got going, things started to be familiar, and yeah, I’ve definitely seen it. But I love it, so since I hadn’t ranked it yet, I decided to go ahead and count it. I thought about just writing this as if I hadn’t seen it, but that felt dishonest and I also wasn’t sure I could manage not to let it slip. :p I also have The Ghost of Frankenstein and may watch it as an additional tag-along for Travis, but my guess is I’ll rank this one higher.

Anyway. To the movie. This is brilliant! Basil Rathbone is Dr. Frankenstein’s son, who brings his family to his father’s castle. He’s super-excited about it, though he rejects his father’s actions. The townsfolk aren’t nearly so excited about it, viewing his whole family with understandable suspicion. And sure enough, Frankenstein fils soon finds his father’s research, is convinced by it, then meets Ygor (Bela Lugosi!), who’s been keeping the Monster (Boris Karloff) hidden. Things escalate.

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