The 80s were a very interesting time. There were lots of highs and lows for the decade. Lows: perms, shoulder pads, cocaine, WHAM!, disco, mullets, leg-warmers. Highs: “Full House,” The Smiths, cell phones, U2, The Cosby Show, the Cosby sweater, leggings, and perhaps the biggest high of the decade: 80s romantic comedies. The 80s were a time when everything was done to the max. It was all about striving for greatness; a “go big or go home” mentality. That’s why this era lends itself to the best romantic comedies, with their grand romantic gestures and professions of love, borderline cheesy and all the way awesome story-lines and some of the most memorable one-liners and iconic scenes of all time.

 

Here are a few 80s rom-coms we have chosen that you need to watch ASAP:

 

 

One of many adorable moments from 1989 "Say Anything" (veryaware.com)

One of many adorable moments from 1989 “Say Anything” (veryaware.com)

1. Say Anything. Say Anything is a sappy romantic comedy from 1989 featuring the adorable John Cusack and the beautiful Ione Sky as the star-crossed lovers from different worlds. The premise of the movie is nothing profound or exceedingly original per-se, but what makes this movie great is its sincerity and “realness.” And, of course, Cusack is absolutely endearingly and earth-shatteringly charming as the doting frontman. Perhaps one of the most iconic scenes from any movie ever is the shot of him as Lloyd Dobler, standing outside, holding a boom-box over his head, while the song “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel plays in the background.

 

 

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal "When Harry Met Sally" (portable.tv)

Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal “When Harry Met Sally” (portable.tv)

2. When Harry Met Sally. This is one of those movies that if it is ever on TV, rest assured you will sit down and watch it from beginning to end, dog-food commercials and all. Why? Because it is such an honest and enrapturing depiction of what love really is, and it is told like the best love story you’ve ever heard. It may seem outlandish to claim that something as trivial as a romantic comedy could alter your perception of the meaning of “love,” but “When Harry Met Sally” is as close as any movie can get. You will quickly get rapped up in the lives of the two main characters played by Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal (one of the most interesting and amazing duos of all time) unravel and see their friendship grow like a real relationship would over the years.

 

 

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing (hollywood.com)

Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing (hollywood.com)

3. Dirty Dancing. Talk about grand gestures. It’s safe to say that “Dirty Dancing” is one of the most over-the-top, dramatic movies ever made. The story is the same one we’ve seen depicted time and time again: an unlikely pair falls in love and against all odds, they fight to be together and make it work. Although this movie is not a novelty, it is great because in all of its drama and showmanship, it takes you to another place, and allows you to become invested in the outcome of the two characters, whether willingly or grudgingly so. “Dirty Dancing” is one of those classics that everyone should see. I promise, you will cry.

 

 

Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in Pretty Woman (blondeepisodes.com)

Julia Roberts and Richard Gere in Pretty Woman (blondeepisodes.com)

4. Pretty Woman. This movie is great for so many reasons. Whether it’s Richard Gere being dashing and just a tad creepy, Julia Roberts becoming the proud owner of the whole “rags-to-riches” tag, or the playful banter and clever one-liners between these two very attractive individuals, this movie is so classic. Everyone loves a good makeover story, and everyone loves a good love story; this 1990 romantic comedy is both rapped into one extremely good-looking package. The best line in the whole movie is when Julia Roberts delivers her most memorable line, post-makeover: “Big mistake. Huge. I have to go shopping now!” You’ll have to watch the movie yourself to understand the context; trust us, it’s good.

 

 

Pretty in Pink, 1987 (thegaurdian.com)

Pretty in Pink, 1987 (theguardian.com)

5. Pretty in Pink. In this angsty teen movie courtesy of John Hughes (writer), the main protagonist Andy Walsh, played by Molly Ringwald who is evidently Hughes’ go-to for the misunderstood teenage archetype, has to choose between two lives; she can stay as the quiet outcast from humble beginnings and date the uniquely lovable best-friend who’s had a crush on her since childhood, or she could go for it with the rich but sensitive popular boy. This movie has plenty of cringe-worthy moments, but lots of sweet ones as well. If nothing else, watch this movie for Ringwald’s awesome 80’s wardrobe, a triumph in and of itself.

 

 

What are your favorite movies of the 80s? Leave a response in the comments below or find me on twitter @JenksUOhMeASoda