‘Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don’t Learn Them from Movies Anymore’ is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Written by Hadley Freeman and published by Simon & Schuster, this delightfully fun book examines everyone’s favourite eighties movies, and how the movie industry has changed since the release of ‘Pretty in Pink’, ‘Princess Bride’, and ‘Ghostbusters’, to name but a few.
Now. I will admit. I still haven’t seen some of the classics. (It’s shameful, I know. I’m working on it.) However, for the very few of us who don’t have an encyclopaedic knowledge of 80s films, there is no need to worry. Freeman’s enthusiasm and love for these films is absolutely palpable. She scatters quotes quite liberally throughout the book – for those who know them (as I did with ‘The Princess Bride’), it’s a little moment of joy as you realise that your favourite quote is hers, too! For those who don’t, it’s a real impetus to start watching (or re-watching), because you know, just from these snippets, that you’re really missing out on something fun.
I had a couple reservations when beginning the book, as things like this can turn into sheer nostalgia very quickly. (Not that nostalgia isn’t fun sometimes, but for me, as someone born in the 90s, this can be quite dull.) Thankfully, I thought that the balance between nostalgia, analysis of the movies themselves, and analysis of the movie industry was very good. I found it fascinating to have an expert’s opinion about whether 80s movies could be made today (usually, no), why this is the case, and who is trying to change that. For me this is what really turned ‘Life Moves Pretty Fast’ from a fun but generic look at the 80s into something quite special.
I would definitely recommend this to fans of 80s films (duh), and to people who are interested in getting a real insight into the movie industry and pop culture.
‘Live Moves Pretty Fast’ will be published 14 June 2016.