Books | Pop Culture | Movies | 80s
80s Movies That Taught Us Everything We Know About Life
Coming of age is not easy, but there were some movies that made it a little more bearable.
It's also nice to know that Hollywood understood our anguish.
Here are 8 movies from the '80s that taught us everything we needed to know as we transitioned from kids to young adults.
The Outsiders (1983)
S.E. Hinton's 1967 novel The Outsiders became an instant hit, which inspired the 1983 movie that had an all-star cast. We follow the life of young greaser Ponyboy Curtis, who struggles to do well in school and deal with an upper-class rival group.
If there's one thing we learned from The Outsiders, it's the importance of loyalty. They weren't just a gang of teenagers, they were brothers. This quote says it all: "If you don't stick up for them, stick together, make like brothers, it isn't a gang anymore."
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Five high school students who have very little in common find themselves in detention on a Saturday. The best part about this movie is that each one of us can find a character that we most resemble and can relate to. That being said, there's no need to separate ourselves because of the stereotypes we fit in, we're all humans that deserve to be loved, respected, and appreciated.
Sixteen Candles (1984)
Samantha Baker, played by Molly Ringwald, is dreading her 16th birthday, but that's not all she's dreading. There's this annoying guy she can't seem to get away from and she's in love with a guy that doesn't even know she exists. So do you go with the half-wit or the heart-breaker?
Dead Poet's Society (1989)
This is when we all started tattooing "carpe diem" on our bodies. When an English teacher, played by Robin Williams, comes to an all male preparatory school, the lives of several students change. What does it mean to seize the day? Well, that's what this movie made us sit and think about.
Here is, arguably, one of the greatest movie clips from the '80s:
Stand By Me (1986)
"I want to go to a place where nobody knows me." Yep, we've all been there. A group of boys lose their innocence after learning that a stranger has been killed near their homes. We mostly learn that our childhoods are fragile, and the people who we have strong bonds with will not remain that way forever.
Ordinary People (1980)
An upper class family struggles to cope with the death of the family's eldest son. This tear-jerking film won the first Best Picture of the decade, and taught us that it takes a tragedy for underlying relationship problems to be revealed and addressed.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
We all couldn't stop laughing at the quest of these teenagers trying to experience romance, but we did learn a thing or two about it along the way. Actually, we probably learned what NOT to do.
Risky Business (1983)
Iconic film star Tom Cruise plays Joel Goodsen, a teenager who hires a prostitute but is unable to pay her. So while Joel is trying to figure out how to stay clear of the pimp that's out to get him, he learns a lot of life skills, like business, manipulation, and learning how to deal with consequences, which makes him practically ready for his interview with an admissions adviser to get accepted into Princeton University. We all want to have fun as a teenager, but we have to consider how a brief moment of "fun" can affect our future.
What '80s movie had the most impact on you? Let us know in the comments!