My top 5 favourite 80s films

In honour of me watching the breakfast club for the first time today (we don’t count the actual first time because I was 12 and in that ‘I must hate everything my parents like because I’m just that cool’ phase), I have decided to list my top 5 favourite 80s films. Just as a bit of background information, I first got quite into 80s films last summer so I haven’t seen that many but I’ve seen enough to have a top 5.

  1. Back to the future (1985) –

My brother and I watched the franchise back to back years ago and I’ve loved it ever since. It’s a film about Marty Mcfly travelling 30 years into the past in a time machine called the Delorean (if anyone can find me one let me know) to try and get his teenage parents together. It’s hilarious and the plot is really clever; I should really watch it again sometime.

2. Ferris Bueller’s day off (1982) –

This is a comedy about high school student Ferris Bueller as he, his girlfriend and his best friend ditch school to have an eventful (and vaguely destructive) day out. Ferris is definitely the best thing about this film, his casual cockiness and underlying kindness is really endearing. I watch this film whenever I’ve had a bad day and it never fails to make me laugh.

3. Pretty in Pink (1986) –

This is a film starring Molly Ringwald as a quirky teenage girl who is asked out by a popular guy in her school, leaving her best friend Duckie (my favourite person ever) feeling very jealous. This is one of the only films with a love triangle I actually like. While I’ll admit I was mainly there for Duckie and his adorableness, Blane was pretty okay too. The ending caught me by surprise but I kind of like the ending now too.

4. Heathers (1988) –

This was the film that got me into films from this era; I watched it one afternoon last summer and fell in love with it. Be warned, Heathers is a rather weird film. In the past when I’ve tried to explain it to people I’ve been given a few funny looks but here goes. Veronica is part of a horrible clique of girls (who are all called Heather) and she hates them all so when she meets a new guy who offers to help her kill them and fake their suicide notes she thinks it’s a good idea. It’s vaguely disturbing but JD was kind of funny in his own twisted way and it really did suck you in.

5. The Breakfast Club (1985) –

The breakfast club is essentially 5 high school students attending detention on a Saturday but it’s so much more than that. It is a film that shows how little labels mean and how ridiculous stereotypes are. While this film doesn’t have a plot as such, the characters are captivating and the ideas and thoughts it puts across are so important.

So that’s my top 5, there are so many more I want to watch and would be super grateful for any recommendations. The next film I plan on watching is The Outsiders as I’ve read the book but am yet to watch the film.

It’s kind of a funny story by Ned Vizzini review

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‘It’s such a silly little thing, the heart. Badoom. It feels good the way it cleans me. Badoom. Screw it. I want my heart. I want my heart but my brain is acting up.’

‘It’s kind of a funny story’ is pegged as ‘a beloved book about a teen grappling with suicidal thoughts’ and as ‘funny and disarming’ which is quite a strange combination. It follows Craig Gilner’s life before his suicidal episode and the week following it in which he is admitted onto a psychiatric ward. For me this book wasn’t laugh out loud funny but at the same time it wasn’t half as upsetting and disturbing as you may expect. Does it have an intricate beautiful writing style? No. Does it make you laugh with every line? No. Should every teenager who struggles with or is merely curious about mental health read it? Yes, definitely.

As someone who does have quite a lot of knowledge about depression and who has read a variation of books and articles on the topic, it showed a new angle. I’ve never felt I understood the thought process of someone struggling the way Craig is struggling as much as I did with this book. Ned Vizzini makes depression into this almost physical, visual thing. Craig describes his triggers as ‘tentacles’, this includes his school work, his worries about money etc… and he describes the things he enjoys as his ‘anchors’ which includes riding his bike and watching people play video games. Then possibly the most helpful term was ‘the Shift’ which is for lack of better words a cure, a switch that would make the depression disappear and return him to the way he was a year before. All this helps you understand him and really relate to the book, as well as helping you evaluate the tentacles and anchors in your life.

This book did take a while to properly start, it does say in the blurb that Craig spends time on a psychiatric ward; this however doesn’t happen until almost a third of the way into the book. While I hate to criticize this book, I do think it could have done without a lot of the first 100 or so pages, especially when talking about his time with Aaron. As a character, I didn’t particularly like Aaron, he lacked personality and I found myself bored when any of his parties or any conversations with him were described. The same goes for Nia, who I found completely insufferable but more on that later. It did go into a lot of descriptions about Craig experimenting with drugs with Aaron which while I understand is necessary to mention, I did get a bit sick of it.

I enjoyed this book much more once he’s in the psychiatric hospital because the characters introduced were just amazing. You have Armelio who has proclaimed himself the president, Humble who is a confusing character but my personal favourite, Noelle who has scars all across her face and is kind of a mystery for most of it and a few more strange and wonderful characters. After he is admitted it feels like a series of interesting life lessons which I suppose for Craig it is. For example a lot of his issues come from school stress and it does really help put things into perspective and explain what’s really important. As well as this, the way it goes into so many different characters lives, each one giving a slight moral to it, really helps you see a variation of accurate representations of mental illnesses. It teaches you that there isn’t just some miracle cure that it is something that some people struggle with for their whole lives but that you can find ways of coping and that most of all you can find ways to live.

Despite romance not being a central plot of the book, I did love the romance between Noelle and Craig. It wasn’t overdone or melodramatic; it was, like this entire book, realistic and that was the beauty of it. Neither of one of them is perfect, they’re flaws kind of complement each other and their conversations are some of my favourite parts. Initially it does seem that Aaron’s girlfriend, Nia, is going to be the main romance and unfortunately she is in it for quite a while. She kind of served to show how you shouldn’t react to someone telling you they have depression and continues to serve this purpose most of the way through. I suppose in that way she was necessary but that didn’t stop me wanting to drag her out of the book and scream at her (not my finest moment I’ll admit).

At the core of this book is hope, it’s a positive, encouraging and understanding story. You put it down and you feel a little bit more determined, a lot less judgemental and a lot more open and ready to talk about mental health and I think all of us need that in our lives.