Decade of Love
Jennifer Love Hewitt was in elementary school during the ’80s, but that doesn’t mean she can’t experience the decade all over again at a later stage: This week she begins filming “The Suburbans,” which follows the reunion tour of an ’80s one-hit-wonder band. (Ben Stiller and Saturday Night Live’s Will Ferrell costar.)
Quicker than you can say ”Kajagoogoo,” the ’80s have become hot again. ”The Wedding Singer,” which has earned $79 million, was the first in a new wave of big-haired films. ”200 Cigarettes,” filmed this spring with Ben Affleck and Courtney Love, takes place on New Year’s Eve in the early ’80s. And Universal is developing ”Totally ’80s,” about a teen from today who finds himself transported back to the yester-decade. These films are helped along by the raging nostalgia for ’80s music: ”The Wedding Singer” soundtrack has gone platinum, while the score for ”Grosse Point Blank” went gold.
Young filmmakers love making retro movies because it allows them to wallow in their own youth while still catering to today’s teens who laugh at the fashions but relate to the stories. ”I was in high school in the ’80s, and that was the era I knew,” says Susan Skoog, whose film, ”Whatever,” chronicles two suburban New Jersey teens of that period. But when Skoog recently showed the film (which opens Friday in New York and L.A.) to 19-year-old New York University students, they said they recognized its denim-filled house parties from their own ’90s youth. ”Teenage parties are teenage parties,” says Skoog. ”There’s always a keg that’s all foam and some kids who are figuring out different ways to smoke pot through apples and potatoes.” — Josh Wolk