Of all the science fiction and fantasy films released in the summer of 1985 -- everything from Back to the Future to Cocoon to Red Sonja -- perhaps the most unrealistic movie to hit theaters that year was the teen comedy Secret Admirer, which asks audiences to accept the premise that both Kelly Preston and Lori Loughlin are in love with C. Thomas Howell.
Ok, that's a little harsh. It's not that my man CTH is without talent or charisma -- one doesn't get to be a leading man without at least one of them -- but Secret Admirer doesn't do much to capitalize on either, instead opting to make his character a clueless and often obnoxious douche whose worst qualities are thrown into even sharper relief by virtue of the fact that he is the object of desire of both Aunt Becky and Kelly Preston. Not just any Kelly Preston, either, but 1985 Kelly Preston -- who, it should be said, is almost identical to 2016 Kelly Preston. Must be all that Xenu blood.
Secret Admirer is an unusual movie in that it's completely commercial and there's nothing risky or ambitious about it, but it's somehow stuck between the worldview of a John Hughes '80s film (think Some Kind of Wonderful before Some Kind of Wonderful) and the kinds of raunchy sex comedies that dominated the first half of the decade. It's basically a PG movie except that Kelly Preston takes her top off a couple of times and everyone curses like sailors, which feels weird in a movie that is otherwise fairly innocent about sex. Unlike a lot of other '80s comedies, sex is not what these characters are chasing. Romance is. If sex happens to be a byproduct of that, so be it. More often than not, though, sex only complicates things for these characters and the choice to sleep with someone really isn't taken lightly. That stuff sets the movie apart from other films of the period, which is what makes it all the more jarring when everyone talks so blue.
Ultimately it wants to be a French farce, piling on the misunderstandings on the way to the bedroom. It's a credit to the construction of the screenplay (by Jim Kouf and David Greenwalt) that there's a scene about two-thirds of the way through the movie in which three sets of mismatched couples wind up parked next to one another at makeout point, all the result of miscommunication stemming from the original letter. Secret Admirer is rarely able to find much actual comedy in the situation, but it's rarely all that funny. The best it can manage is "agreeable," but sometimes I'll take agreeable.
Blu-ray release date: February 16, 2016
DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (English)
Blu-ray bonus features: Trailer
Buy Secret Admirer from Olive Films here
Even though this sounds mediocre, I still think I have to check it out as it's one of those I missed back in the day. Preston's look and smirk in that last picture reminds me of 90's Alison La Placa for some reason.ReplyDelete
Alison La Placa reference for the win. Pour one out for Duets.Delete
Yes sir! I couldn't help but watch a bit of an episode of that and Open House after remembering her name. I forgot all about both of those shows!Delete
I'm running through a lot of 1985 movies so this should fit in nicely. Do you guys have any suggestions for something weird from 1985?Delete
Not sure about what you mean by "weird" as that is a matter of taste. Greenaway's "A Zed & Two Noughts" fits the weird criteria to some.Delete
Not weird IMO but if you haven't seen Raimi's Crimewave check it out, it's wacky. Also, Ninja Terminator came out in '85 - a must!
Franc Roddam's The Bride from 1985 is interesting. Perfect with Travolta and Curtis is weird cheese.Delete
Sorry, weird is a weird word. Outside the box is more like it. Great suggestions! The best one I hadn't seen before was The Color Purple. It's Spielberg but I'm not a huge fan of his period piece movies. I've never seen The Trip to Bountiful and the Oscars are stupid but how did Whoopi not win?Delete
I'm watching Brazil and Creature tonight. Any thoughts on Creature?
Haven't seen it but it's gotta be good. Klaus Kinski in an Alien rip-off? Yes.Delete
Loose Screws a.k.a Screwballs II was 1985. Another must!Delete
Nice. Have you seen School Spirit?Delete
20 minutes in, Creature is delightful in its terribleness.Delete
You guys have to watch Creature...Delete
Nice! I'm all over it, Brent. I haven't seen School Spirit but it's been in my watchlist.Delete
Ferris Bueller's dad?! This is great already.Delete
Bueller's dad, Bruce Dern's wife from The Burbs, Klaus Kinski, Sean Young look-a-like (writer/director Malone finally got his wish and had the real Sean Young in his film Parasomnia (2008)), Alien rip-off, classic 80's red and blue lighting w/ non stop fog effects, naked chick with Sting haircut. Totally not being funny - it's impressive that this came a year before Aliens. Looks like that movie only on a much smaller scale, minus the action BUT there's no f-ing Newt. AND - Maybe runner up for best exploding head scene of the time after Scanners.Delete
Yep, that was pretty great. Thanks, bud.
p.s. I love that the Secret Admirer post led to Creature :)
Agreed. I was going to watch Brazil but how can I pass up the chance to see the second installment of Screwballs.Delete
I loved when he was eating a sandwich, while being foreign, trying to speak in sci-fi jibber jabber. Dern's wife can't remember her line and they just go with it. I think I love it. I'm finishing up Zone Troopers from 85 as well. I kind of like this one too. 85 just keeps getting better except St. Elmo's Fire. That movie made me angry.Delete