Review: Life Moves Pretty Fast by Hadley Freeman

Life Moves Pretty FastTitle: Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons we Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them from Movies Anymore)

Author: Hadley Freeman

Pages: 311 Pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

The Blurb

From Vogue contributor and Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman, a personalized guide to eighties movies that describes why they changed movie-making forever—featuring exclusive interviews with the producers, directors, writers and stars of the best cult classics.

For Hadley Freeman, movies of the 1980s have simply got it all. Comedy in Three Men and a BabyHannah and Her SistersGhostbusters, and Back to the Future; all a teenager needs to know in Pretty in PinkFerris Bueller’s Day OffSay AnythingThe Breakfast Club, and Mystic Pizza; the ultimate in action from Top GunDie HardBeverly Hills Cop, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom; love and sex in 9 1/2 WeeksSplashAbout Last Night,The Big Chill, and Bull Durham; and family fun in The Little MermaidETBigParenthood, and Lean On Me.

In Life Moves Pretty Fast, Hadley puts her obsessive movie geekery to good use, detailing the decade’s key players, genres, and tropes. She looks back on a cinematic world in which bankers are invariably evil, where children are always wiser than adults, where science is embraced with an intense enthusiasm, and the future viewed with giddy excitement. And, she considers how the changes between movies then and movies today say so much about society’s changing expectations of women, young people, and art—and explains why Pretty in Pink should be put on school syllabuses immediately.

From how John Hughes discovered Molly Ringwald, to how the friendship between Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi influenced the evolution of comedy, and how Eddie Murphy made America believe that race can be transcended, this is a “highly personal, witty love letter to eighties movies, but also an intellectually vigorous, well-researched take on the changing times of the film industry” (The Guardian).

The Review

I love the 80s. Let’s just get that out of the way. I love the music, the fashion and most of all I loved the movies. So when I saw the subject of Hadley Freeman’s book Life Moves Pretty Fast I knew I had a kindred spirit and that I had to read this book.

Life Moves Pretty Fast is a book that not only celebrates cinema of the 80s but it looks at the cultural impact upon those films and more importantly how these films impacted on culture. I, who consider myself pretty knowledgeable on movies of this decade, was impressed by just how many facts and discussion points that I wasn’t aware of. Yet, this makes it sound like this is a stuffy academic text. It really isn’t. Hadley Freeman’s writing is sharp, witty and sassy (especially her footnotes which are delightfully funny). This really is the go to text for the 80s movie buff.

I do have an issue with Life Moves Pretty Fast; one, I am sure Freeman will actually understand and appreciate. That issue is this: some great movies didn’t make the cut. Some of my favourite 80s movies were mentioned but not explored fully. Films such as The Goonies, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, Labyrinth among many, many others. Really, Hadley Freeman should rectify this immediately by writing a part two to Life Moves Pretty Fast. Although, if anything from the movies of the 80s has taught us that the sequel probably won’t be as good as the first.

Life Moves Pretty Fast is the ‘go-to’ guide for any 80s movie buff. Go and buy yourself a copy today.

Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons we Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them from Movies Anymore) by Hadley Freeman is available now.

Follow Hadley Freeman (@HadleyFreeman) on Twitter.

For more titles from Simon & Schuster (@simonschuster) please visit the official website www.simonandschuster.com.

4 Stars

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