A Totally Tubular Weekend Movie Binge

One good thing about my neighborhood is that we like to party. We like to have parties, go to parties, plan parties, have impromptu parties. But my favorite kind of parties are theme parties.

Last March, it was the St. Patrick’s Day party. We all dressed in green, wore plastic green beads, ate fish and chips, and drank like Irishmen. In December, it was an Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. I won first place. Not sure if I should be proud or ashamed. And most recently, I held a #DisneySide party where we celebrated everything Disney from the cupcakes to the cocktails.

Tonight, we’ve got a brand new theme party to attend: Celebrating the 1980s! That’s right. I’m heading to a party to celebrate the decade that brought us legwarmers, headbands, Hypercolour sweatshirts, and Rubik’s Cube. It was the decade of my first kiss, my driver’s license, and my high school graduation. It was also the decade of my musical awakening.

I started the decade listening to anything I could get from Columbia Record & Tape Club, like Cyndi Lauper, Culture Club, Huey Lewis & the News, Duran Duran, and, shamefully, Lionel Ritchie. I advanced to New Wave and embraced the likes of Howard Jones, Thomas Dolby, and A Flock of Seagulls. I ended the decade a megafan of U2, Tracy Chapman, and John (Cougar) Mellencamp.

I’m happy to report that, while I still know all of the aforementioned musical groups, my tastes have, ahem, matured a bit. But when I needed to come up with a themed outfit or “costume,” I decided to turn to the musical roots of the 80s.

Instead of going with the side ponytail or off the shoulder Flashdance looks, I thought of going with a style similar to mine in the 80s: asymmetrical plaid top, pin-striped skinny jeans with zippers at the bottom, suede ankle boots, and a bad perm. Then it occurred to me. I could finally embrace the 80s look I always wanted.

I didn’t want to be Madonna. Ever. I wasn’t into Debbie Gibson or Cher. I fancied the glamorous 80s ladies like drama queen Morgan Fairchild or supermodel Carol Alt.

80s glamour

Couldn’t I be one of them?

Sort of.

I’m opting for the glam automaton look of the models in Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video. Turns out, it’s pretty simple:

  • Slick back your hair
  • Put on a short little black dress
  • Coat on 80s style makeup (found this awesome makeup tutorial here)
  • Put a blank, soulless stare on your face

If you want to see what a short, less-thin, middle-aged version of this looks like, be sure to follow my Instagram stream.

My husband, who likes to get in on the fun but is a bit less of a risk taker, is planning to put on  his old flight suit and aviator sunglasses and go as Tom Cruise from Top Gun. I suggested that perhaps he might be better suited to the role of Goose.

Either way, music and movies are a totally awesome way to relive the 80s. So if you’re having a night of wine and popcorn all snuggled up with your remote, I’ve put together a list of some of the most tubular movies on Netflix available for watching RIGHT NOW through streaming.

Best 1980s movies

 Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
 The Breakfast Club (1985)
 Ferris Bueller“You’re Abe Froman? The sausage king of Chicago?”

I wanted to be Mia Sara and have a boyfriend like Ferris Bueller. I also still cringe when that car flies down the cliff.

Breakfast Club“It’s a social club. Demented and sad, but social.”

Ally Sheedy was my favorite character and I laughed inappropriately at Emilio Estevez’s sob story.

 Ghostbusters (1984)
 Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

“I tried to think of the most harmless thing. Something I loved from my childhood. Something that could never, ever possibly destroy us. Mr. Stay Puft.”

Technically, that’s a spoiler. But this movie was made 30 years ago. If you haven’t seen it by now, you deserve a little spoiling.

Beverly Hills Cop

I’m not sure how to quote Eddie Murphy’s laugh but that’s what most memorable from this film. That and the adorableness of Judge Reinhold.

 Trading Places (1983)
 Airplane! (1980)
 Trading Places“I had the most absurd nightmare. I was poor and no one liked me. I lost my job, I lost my house, Penelope hated me and it was all because of this terrible, awful Negro.”

Dialogue like that wouldn’t fly today but coming from the mouth of Louis Winthorp III, it’s comedy gold.

 Airplane!Surely you can’t be serious.” “I am. And don’t call me Shirley.”“Stewardess, I speak jive.”

“You ever seen a grown man naked?”

Proudly or ashamedly, I think I can quote this entire movie. 

 Dirty Dancing (1987)
Footloose (1984)
 Dirty Dancing“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”

Confession time. I never loved this movie. I didn’t think she was pretty enough for Patrick Swayze. Plus, her name was Baby.


If we learned anything from Footloose, it was that dancing can be just as angry as fighting and yet it can unite a town divided by its devoutly religious preacher.

Yeah. Dance.

 Pretty in Pink (1986)
 Look Who’s Talking (1989)
 Pretty in PinkHis name is Blane? Oh! That’s a major appliance, that’s not a name!”

I’ve never been a fan of Jon Cryer. So I never wanted Duckie to win. I wanted Andie to end up with Blane. But really? I don’t think I ever cared that much at all.

Look Who's Talking

Even ridiculous movies have a place on this list. Because in 1989, this was cutting edge shizz, yo. Talking babies? Comedy gold.

 Heathers (1988)
 Flashdance (1983)
 Heathers“I love my dead gay son!”

The first black comedy I really remember. It was hard to like like this movie but it was so damn quotable, you couldn’t help but watch it over and over again.


She’s a maniac, maniac, oh no. And she’s dancing like she’s never danced before.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this whole movie. But how can I now that I know she had a dance double?

 Fatal Attraction (1987)
 Urban Cowboy (1980)
 Fatal Attraction“I will NOT be IGNORED!”

Remember how insane Glenn Close was? I mean, her character, not her. Or was it a character? I’ve never thought of rabbits in the same way.

 Urban Cowboy

“All cowboys ain’t dumb. Some of ’em got smarts real good, like me.”

Nothing like a good country Bud and Sissy story.

Stephen King’s Children of the Corn (1984)
 Night of the Comet (1984)
 Children of the Corn“What, did you rewrite the whole thing, or just the parts that don’t suit your needs?” 

This movie left me freaked out. I still don’t like walking past corn fields. Thanks, Stephen King.

Night of the Comet

This is the campiest of campy horror movies and yet I loved it. Combine zombies and valley girls left alone on the Earth and the possibilities are endless.

 Terms of Endearment (1983)
 A Room with a View (1985)
Terms of Endearment“I don’t give a sh*t, Mom. I’m sick.”

One of my all time favorite movies and not just because I met Debra Winger in real life and she’s just as awesome as I hoped she might be. A tearjerker but well worth the tears.

A Room with a View

My very first Merchant and Ivory film. I loved the stilted passion in this film that reminds you that repression is the best kind of foreplay.

 Say Anything… (1989)
 Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Say Anything

I’m sure I’ve seen this movie but the only thing I seem to recall is the quintessential boom box scene where John Cusack plays “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel.

Is it worth another watch or is it too late now that all my teen angst is gone?

Roger Rabbit

“I’m not bad. I was just drawn that way.”

Who knew a cartoon could be sexy? Jessica Rabbit, voiced by Kathleen Turner, helped create a groundbreaking (at the time) type of animated feature that everyone asking for me.

And that’s the end of my top 20 1980s movies that you can watch RIGHT NOW on Netflix. And it’s also time to start telling me what’s missing from this list. Trust me, there were plenty of 80s movies that I wanted to put on this list but they’re only available as DVD from Netflix, not for streaming.


Tell me your favorite 1980s movie that you’d love to see on this list and maybe Netflix will indulge our inner Valley Girls and like, totally, put them on streaming!