The thing I did not realize (or forgot) is that some of these movies are full of racism, sexism, and homophobia. It’s not surprising, given some of the cultural attitudes back in the day. I also did not recognize until I read the book that Hollywood was more progressive in the 80s (well to a certain point) than it claims to be now. There was more latitude (depending on the specific IP) given to women and minorities to grow beyond the stereotypes and expected storyline.
Writing with love, respect, and an equally critical eye, Freeman provides the reader with both a modern lens and how audiences responded to the films when they were initially released.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them from Movies Anymore) is available wherever books are sold.
When we face a dilemma, the first people we often turn to are our friends.
The Facts of Life Reunion (2001) aired 13 years after the original series ended. Natalie (Mindy Cohn) has spent the last decade living and working abroad as a reporter. After working and living abroad as a reporter, she comes back to the States with a dilemma. Blair (Lisa Whelchel) is a wealthy businesswoman who believes that her husband is cheating on her. Tootie (who now goes by her given name, Dorothy) (Kim Fields) is turning to a career as a talk show host after failing to make it as an actress. Jo (Nancy McKeon) is balancing her job as a cop and her home life as a wife and mother.
Reuniting with her friends (sans Jo, represented by her husband and daughter) and Mrs. Garrett (the late Charlotte Rae), Natalie has to make a decision. She has received two marriage proposals and has not made a decision about which one to say yes to.
What I like about this TV movie is that it is a nice piece of nostalgia. There is enough of a narrative to keep the story moving along while building on what made the television series special. Each individual storyline feels appropriate, giving the viewers a nice follow-up to where we left them in 1988.
Those of us above a certain age remember the late Tammy Faye Bakker for her boundless enthusiasm, her makeup that some might call excessive and how she was portrayed in the press. When she and first husband, Jim Bakker made the news in the 1980’s for the financial scandal surrounding their television ministry, there was no escaping the headlines.
The new movie, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, takes the audience behind the flash and the noise to reveal the real woman. Stepping into the shoes of Tammy Faye and Jim are Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield. The film follows Bakker from her early years, where she is an outcast due to her parents divorce to the high of being the face of televangelism for a generation, and finally when she became a late night punchline that revolved around the fiscal mismanagement of the Bakker’s Christian ministry empire.
First of all, kudos to the makeup and hair department. They were able to recreate Tammy Faye’s iconic look without making it look like Chastain was wearing a Halloween mask. What I liked about the film is that the woman on the screen is much more than was in the news back in the day. She has a big heart, genuinely believes in her mission (and her husband), and unlike others in her world, is willing to embrace members of LGBTQ community.
A nice counterpoint to Tammy Faye is her mother, Rachel, played by Cherry Jones. Rachel is down to earth and practical. She does not exactly want to burst her daughter’s bubble, but wants to bring Tammy Faye back to reality. What I did not realize is that in her own way, Bakker was a feminist. She was not the typical wife of religious leader who quietly stays in her lane. Tammy Faye was an equal partner in sharing their message with viewers and fans. My only complaint is that towards the end of the film, a few minutes could have been cut from the final presentation.
Words, words, words... well said Hamlet! A little blog to go off on tangents within the worlds of history and literature that interest me. From the Tudors to Tom Hardy's Tess, or from the Wars of the Roses to Wuthering Heights, feel free to browse through my musings to pick up extra ideas and points for discussion!