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Can't Buy Me Love & Hello Again

"Producer Postscript" is a feature where Charlene can talk about the Touchstone movies that Mike, and his co-host, Chad, cover in their podcast "Out of Touchstone".  Charlene is more of the silent partner in the venture (she helps produce the episodes), so she's blogging her thoughts on these films for the website.

Out of Touchstone Podcast: Episode 7 "High Fives and Pratfalls"

Can't Buy Me Love (1987)

The fun romp of a boy who pays a girl to pretend to date him so he can be popular.  It's definitely a unique premise and is carried very well by the leads in the roles - Amanda Peterson and a surprisingly nerdy Patrick Dempsey.  The actors are so believable as high school students beleaguered by the pressures of social status.  The movie has a good message too - that being popular isn't all it's cracked up to be, and when Ronald Miller starts to see the downside of trying to maintain his popularity, you can empathize with his situation.

I do find it interesting to think if Ronald Miller - a character who ultimately does get the girl in the end - was really as interested in Cindy as he was in being popular and belonging to the cool set.  In traditional rom-com fashion, it wasn't too hard for him to make the transition (sunglasses, untucked shirt, and ruffled hair = cool), and when he made it, it seemed like he was not bothered too much by Cindy's feelings.  For me, he felt less of a sympathetic lead, and more of someone trying to take advantage of the system and while he was doing it in a charming way, a part of me would have loved to see Cindy kick him to the curb.  She seemed to have her head on straight and be more aware and secure in herself.

Despite the plot holes, and the iffy character motivations, this is a fun film, and full of that eighties teenage exuberance that made the actors entertaining to watch.

Hello Again (1987)

Shelley Long's character is brought back to life after a year and shenanigans ensue.  The premise was a promising one, but unfortunately, nothing much is done with it, beyond placing the character in the awkward situation of trying to find her place when her family has moved on.  The film plays like a comedy but there are precious few laughs, and very obvious gags, especially with the rather random character choice to have Shelley Long's Lucy ridiculously clumsy.  It gets old fast.

I kept waiting for some important commentary on life or death from this film, but only got tired gags, and unnecessary dramatics.   And that's about all the interest I can muster up to talk about this film.

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