atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7698: Europeans don't know what hot weather is

I read an article, not long ago, about the to-do that resulted when a couple of women in England got thrown out of a pub because their halter tops were too insignificant for the owner's taste. They were complaining because it was, reportedly, "very hot", and the skimpy tops helped them be more comfortable.

The temperature? 28°C...which is 82°F.

You see, that is why they don't understand why Americans insist on having air conditioning in their homes.

* * *

Watched Secret Admirer a few weeks ago, as previously mentioned, and I've had some thoughts knocking around my brain about it. I've probably written at least some of this before, but I've been writing this thing for fifteen years, and I've written close to 7700 posts, so there's bound to be a little repetition, now and again.

Spoilers, but the movie is 36 years old, FFS.

If you're not familiar with the plot, IMDB has a pretty fair synopsis.

Protagonist of the story is Michael Ryan, who gets the first letter. His best friend is Toni Williams, who is the eponymous character. He's got a passel of (mostly oafish) friends; she is friends with Deb Fimple, hot chick and the object of Michael's desire.

I can't remember--and the movie does not make it plain--if the viewer was meant to know, from the beginning, who wrote the initial letter that started all the foo-raw that the movie is about. The opening credits show the letter being written and then slipped into a locker at a high school without showing the face of who did it. Yet, when Michael pens a love letter to Deb, we see her rewriting it and then Deb loving it--so was that supposed to be foreshadowing? Or was it what the viewer knew all along? My first viewing of the movie was too long ago for me to remember.

But when you know the whole story, you can see how much Toni loves Michael, from the beginning, and you understand her motivation for everything very well. And Lori Loughlin's acting--as the best friend with an unrequited love--is dead perfect. There was no cheating done here in order to make a huge surprise out of it.

The movie does a lot of very interesting things with its characters, too. My favorite detail is how one of Michael's friends, Ricardo, has a different look in every scene he apears in. An adolescent trying out different roles to see what fits him--I'm not sure what the director intended, but it's a very realistic detail.

It's one of my all-time favorite movies. There are a host of mid-80s teenage romance comedies that I rewatch every so often, even though I (by now) know them by heart. They're enjoyable movies and they don't make them like that any more.

Secret Admirer falls down, however, in one important place: the involvement of the parents.

While it's a funny idea--the kids' love letters causing romantic tumult in their parents' lives--the pacing of the movie slows to a crawl when the story switches to their viewpoints. The adult actors all did an honest job (Fred Ward's character and performance, in particular, were hilarious) but the parental segments kind of feel like filler.

I've often thought about taking the movie and editing out the parental parts, just to see how it would flow without them. We lose at least one major laugh line if we do that--and, thinking about it, a great deal of the comedy in this movie comes from the parental sequences--but of course that would reduce the running time of the thing into maybe an hour, tops.

Still, Secret Admirer is not a laugh riot; I don't think it was meant to be. It could have been a very effective love story had it been done a bit differently. I have to wonder if maybe the original concept had been "love story" but someone said that no, it had to be a comedy, for reasons.

Oh well.

* * *

FFS, I should never sit at the computer when I get up in the middle of the night.

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