As I’ve mentioned before, ’80s movies have had a pretty big impact on my life. In fact, I’m pretty sure that 75% of the reason I went to film school is because I thought it was going to be a place full of people like me who enjoyed peppering any and all conversations with John Hughes movies quotes and spewing out trivia about Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and Adventures In Babysitting. (P.S. I was wrong.) I realize now that watching these movies in record-breaking amounts probably caused me to pick up some pretty ridiculous notions about love. And while I’m still a hopeless romantic who’d like to believe that a relationship can be built on a forced shared-interest in motorcycles, dating in my 20s taught me it doesn’t mean it’s built to last. And so, I present to you: More ’80s Movie Couples That Wouldn’t Last In Real Life.
Sloane and Ferris, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off:
Yes, Ferris is cute, he’s exciting, he knows how to have a good time. And when Sloane proclaims, “He’s going to marry me!” what girl didn’t feel a slight pang of jealousy that she wasn’t the beautiful, wayfarer-wearing chick that landed a guy like Bueller? But let’s look at this glaring line of dialogue from the man himself:
“Sloane’s [a big] problem. She has another year of high school. How do I deal with that? I was serious when I said I’d marry her. I would.”
I’m sure believes he would marry her, just as he imagines that they would have THE MOST FUN WEDDING EVER, but marriage isn’t one big party. And he’s already stated that he’s not sure how he’s going to handle their time apart. BIG. RED. FLAG. So let’s be honest with ourselves: He’s pretty much a sociopath of Zack Morris proportions. Now, think back to the moment when you realized that Zack Morris was a complete and utter egomaniac who, outside of his ability to break the fourth wall, was merely feeding off his friends for his own personal gain. Unfortunately for Sloane, that harsh reality smacked her right in the face when she joined Ferris at college a year later. And after a semester of catching him in several compromising positions, all the grand gestures in the world couldn’t win her back. Eventually, through years of therapy, Sloane will admit to herself that she was addicted to the drama of it all. Ferris is right though, life moves pretty fast — and if you never have a night alone to sit on the couch, eat takeout and just have a private moment, you could miss the subtleties of true human connection that is the beauty of a relationship.
Claire & Bender, Andrew & Allison, The Breakfast Club:
Nope again. The Jock and the Basket Case, The Criminal and The Princess, neither of these mismatched couples actually lasted. Being “locked in a vacancy” for an entire Saturday stripped these five students of their roles in their high school hierarchy and let them connect as unhappy, lost teenagers. But after Claire and John Bender used each other (to outrage her parents and for sex, respectively) the excitement ran out. And Allison and Andrew, well a girl who is ignored by her parents is probably a clinger and “Sporto” just isn’t equipped to deal with any sort of emotional business she’s going to unpack out of that giant purse of hers. Contrary to the film’s final score, they would forget about each other — until Facebook, where Bender could prove once and for all that Claire really was “a fat girl’s name.”
Prince Eric and Ariel: The Little Mermaid
Ah, those poor unfortunate souls didn’t last either. Ariel made a giant sacrifice just for their relationship to exist, so I have to imagine the arguments in the Prince household always ended with an “All I’m asking, Eric, is for you to come to my friend’s dinner thing. It’s not like I’m asking you to give up breathing underwater and pretty much ever seeing your family again!” To be fair, I’m sure living with Ariel is no a day at the beach (no pun intended) either. The cuteness of “Oh She Doesn’t Know What Things Are Because She’s From Under The Sea” probably wore off fast. My guess is she tracked down Ursula and said, “Lady, please turn me back into a mermaid, all this walking around on those — what do you call them? — oh, feet isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.”
Brand and Andy: The Goonies
Brand is a hot, athletic, young stud who somehow manages to make wearing shorts over sweatpants look good, but after that he’s pretty generic. (And let’s face it, he was kind of a jerk to his sweet younger brother, Mikey.) Thus Andy and Brand will have a generic high school relationship that will end in a generic amicable post-high school, pre-college breakup. And when Andy goes off to school, surprisingly, it’s Mikey that the former cheerleader will keep in touch with. He’ll write funny letters and send her the most thoughtful care packages. And she’ll wonder why her mind keeps drifting to that time in the cave when she accidentally kissed him and how “beautiful” it was. One night on a visit home in Oregon, she’ll bump into him at Mouth & Stef’s place (Obviously those two ended up together, the chemistry between them at the end of Goonies is ridiculous.) And, what do you know, Andy was right. The parts of Mikey that didn’t work so good definitely caught up to the parts of him that did. He’s sensitive, he’s encouraging (like the way he encouraged her to play the organ so they could get through another of One-Eyed Willie’s booby traps), he’s got an adventurous spirit, he’s a good kisser and their age difference wasn’t as big a deal as it was in high school. She’ll realize he’s the perfect guy for her. “Goonies never say die!” will be part of Chunk’s toast at their wedding.
Amy and Russ Jr., Honey I Shrunk The Kids
Bet you almost forgot about these kids. Was it perhaps because their love makes so much sense you might think it barely warrants a mentioning? I’m happy to report these kiddos (regardless of their size) made it. Here’s why: Anthropologist Helen Fisher states that we have 3 basic drives: “the sex drive, romantic love and attachment to a long-term partner”. Well, the sex drive part is already taken care of. (Um, hello! Russ captivated by Amy’s “seductive” mop dance.) As for romance, Fisher explains that, “If you go and do something very novel with somebody you can drive up the dopamine in the brain and, perhaps, trigger this brain system for romantic love.” Something novel, like say, being shrunken to a size smaller than an ant. We see how well this worked when Amy and Russ smooch in the Lego house, after he saves her life by administering CPR which he learned in “French class”. And the attachment to a long-term partner? Well these teens still manage to keep the spark alive by playing footsie at their joint family Thanksgiving dinner — as I imagine they would for years to come. And, of course, they were smart enough to scram before the straight-to-video disaster Honey, We Blew Up Ourselves. So I’m going to go ahead and say they’re most definitely partners for life.