All The Right Movies

The 80s were a wild time. This decade of provocative fun and frivolity managed to produce some phenomenally atrocious movies. But even years later, some are as unforgettable as they were comically wretched. Let's see how much you remember. If you can match the correct movie title to the paraphrased synopsis preceding it, well, you've probably wasted more time than you should have watching movies in the 80s.

1 of 8
After moving from Minneapolis to LA for a summer internship at his Uncle Max's law firm, Monroe Clark quickly becomes immersed in the city's burgeoning beach volleyball culture, which evidently was wildly popular and profoundly important in late-80s LA. Finding it exceedingly difficult to properly balance the demands of his internship with his newly-discovered aficion for volleyball, Monroe soon finds himself torn between pursuing his promising future as a real estate lawyer and a possible (though far less probable) career as a professional beach volleyball player. His blossoming friendship with ex-pro volleyballer/eviction candidate/outright bum/all-around-great-guy Zack Barnes plays a major role in Monroe's decision-making process.
Kings of the Beach
Spike It
Side Out
Breaking the Rules
2 of 8
The unlikely pairing of a struggling, disaffected teenage male artist and an aspiring not-so-teenage female musician provides a strong nucleus for this film, which depicts their exploits around Nantucket throughout the course of a summer. This undeniably half-assed buddy picture and half-assed love story centers around the fledgling relationship of the two protagonists, who are forced to organize a concert to raise money for the musician's impoverished grandmother. The grandmother is being unscrupulously evicted from her home by the avaricious cardboard cut-out villain of the movie, a feat so morally repulsive that the "gang" vows to spoil the villain's grand scheme. A series of hilariously improbable events, coupled with the cunning work of some duplicitous saboteurs, prevent the concert from becoming a success. Consequently, the protagonists and their fawning friends enter a boat race in an effort to win the prize money (which coincidentally is the EXACT amount they need to halt the impending eviction). Oh, and the boat is outfitted with a Ferrari engine.
The Sure Thing
One Crazy Summer
Hot Pursuit
From Nothing to Something
3 of 8
Harvard provides the backdrop setting for this film, which delves deep into the tricky issue of racial and socioeconomic inequality. An affluent white male is accepted to the university, but as a result of a series of impossibly unlikely events, his father spends his tuition money on a lavish Hawaiian vacation. At a total loss as to how to raise the required amount of money he needs to attend the school, the lead character of this movie pretends to be African-American in order to attain the necessary financial support. While capably pulling off the overly elaborate role he's forced to play, Mark Watson gets more of an education than he bargained for when he realizes how differently he is being treated simply because of the color of his skin. In a touchingly poignant scene during the film's denouement, Mark vocalizes the moral of the movie, having learned from his experience – "If I didn't like it, I could always go back."
Soul Man
Black and White
The Secret of My Success
Higher Education
4 of 8
Some people mistakenly believe that the pizza delivery business and the male gigolo industry are mutually exclusive. Those people are wrong, and this movie proves these two lines of work can mesh profitably. Forced to pay college tuition on his own because of his poor academic performance, Randy Bodek finds a job delivering pizza to earn some cash so he can get back to school and his girlfriend. Tips are scarce and the base pay just ain't cuttin' it, so Randy engages in some extracurricular activity with some of his lonely housewife clients. It isn't long before he's in over his head and morally conflicted about his method of generating money. It all comes to a dramatic and chaotic conclusion in the film's penultimate scene, as a frantically overwhelmed Randy tries desperately to salvage his personal, family and professional relationships. Hijinks ensue.
Mystic Pizza
Extra Anchovies
House Calls
5 of 8
For reasons that flagrantly defy rational analysis, the lead character of this flick pulls the ol' gender switcharoo on unsuspecting teachers and overbearing editors to get her article published in the high school newspaper. In a telling and seminal exploration of how sexism ravages all high school journalists – a topic everyone was afraid to touch prior to this movie's release – Terry Griffith is forced to transfer to another school and dress as a male student just to gain the level of respect she feels she's entitled to as an emerging writing talent. "Boys Don't Cry" was universally acclaimed as groundbreaking material, but critics and film historians alike have failed (miserably) to acknowledge the debt that film owes to this timeless 80's coming-of-gender story. Tragically, the Academy – and pretty much everyone else – refused to recognize the prescient genius of this unmistakably significant feminist empowerment film.
Valley Girl
At All Costs
Gal Friday
Just One of the Guys
6 of 8
An artistically inclined, part-time auto mechanic (and high school student) is forced by his father to save up for college so he can "make something of himself" in this true love film. Keith Nelson hates his life. With only his tomboy friend Watts to help break up the monotony of his days (and teach him a thing or two about women), things are going pretty poorly for this film's hero. That is, until he is unaccountably able to scam a date with the hottest gal in school. Now he's blowing all the money he's saved on a pair of earrings for Ms. Right, sacrificing the future his father badly wants for him, and using a social connection he made in detention to sneak he and his gal into a museum to ensure the perfect date. As if this wasn't stressful enough, the gal's ex-boyfriend is up in arms about the imminent date and out looking for redemption. Things take the natural progression from bad to worse to perfect when Keith finally realizes it's Watts he's REALLY into. She's his real dream girl. Perhaps you recall who ultimately received the precious earrings in this delightful (and touching) cinema verite romp.
Pretty in Pink
Some Kind of Wonderful
Where Love Hides
What I Want
7 of 8
We've all been there before – you've flunked your driver's test and don't have a license, but you've got a hot date and you're on the hook for driving. So you do what any rational person would do under the circumstances – you steal your grandfather's Cadillac and roar off into the night. In this star-studded gem, Les Anderson tries to maintain his cool under astronomically asinine circumstances. Pretty much anything bad that can happen to a person happens to Les as he runs frenetically about and attempts to put out the various fires that crop up all around him. This film has it all – underage drinking, generally irresponsible teenage behavior and some wildly amusing risk taking. This movie is so saturated with stereotypical 80's behavior you would think it was specifically intended for a time capsule.
Getting all the Brakes
Dream Machine
License to Drive
License to Thrill
8 of 8
NASA has so many accidental space launches that it's exhausting to try and keep up. Just such an accidental launch is the basis for this movie about a group of kids away at camp who get more than they signed up for when they find themselves in outer space. As unbelievable as the idea of an accidental space launch might sound, even more unbelievable is the fact that it happened while this group of kids and their instructor just happened to be touring the shuttle. The timing was impeccable, however, because the shuttle tour was scheduled towards the end of their stay, so they had received more than enough simulated training over the course of the camp to pilot the shuttle safely back to earth before the air supply ran out. A more inspiring tale of teamwork, trust and lasting friendships forged can not be found in the annals of movie history. One part ridiculous and one part insultingly inconceivable, this feel good flick was responsible for getting more kids interested in astronomy and astro-physics in the 80's than The Karate Kid sent to impressive feat all around. One of the lead characters was a talking robot. But that pretty much goes without saying.
Our Odyssey
To The Moon