If there’s one movie genre that is not in short supply, that’s teen romance stories, and some of the best came way back in the 1980s with a few solid hits that bubbled to the surface in an ocean of silly sex romps that flooded theaters. While popular titles like Sixteen Candles and Pretty in Pink deserve their place, there are a few others that must be seen. Here’s 5 80s romance movies that totally do it right.
A hapless soccer player named Gregory (Gordon John Sinclair) plays on a team that's just as bad, but when a pretty girl named Dorothy (Dee Hepburn) joins the club, things take a turn. Gregory is smitten and asks for a date, but why does a different girl shows up? A touching, funny film that is far from typical, this is a great little gem that still resonates. And what's with the penguin?
Valley Girl (1983)
One of the most exploited romance movie tropes in all of cinema is one member of a social group trying to find love in a different group, but none does quiet as on target as this very era-specific love story starring a pre-fame Nicholas Cage as Randy the punk falling for pretty valley girl Julie Richman (Deborah Foreman). A surprisingly manic-free Cage helps make this a truly memorable and touching romance.
Can't Buy Me Love (1987)
High school social outcast Ronald Miller (Patrick Dempsey) saves the day for mega-popular cheerleader Cindy Mancini (Amanda Peterson) from a minor problem, and for payment asks her to pretend to be his girlfriend for one month. She agrees, and his status rockets to the stratosphere while she comes to find herself attracted, but he also learns a lesson about the perils of social success. Isn't that always the way?
Some Kind Of Wonderful (1987)
High school misfit Keith Nelson (Eric Stoltz) has a thing for super popular Amanda Jones (Lea Thompson), a pretty girl out of his social circle (duh), so he enlists the help of his best friend, a tomboy named Watts (Mary Stuart Masterson) for help on what to do. Is it any surprise that Watts ends up finding herself falling for him instead? They of course discovery that it's some kind of wonderful. And so is the film.
Say Anything . . . (1989)
Two words: Lloyd Dobler. If that name isn't familiar to you, then you really need to take some immediate action. John Cusack plays the awkward, aspiring kick-boxer who after graduating from school asks the class valedictorian Diane Court (Ione Skye) on a date. Turns out they are a great match but life and family get in the way. An honest, hard-hitting love story that is anything but teen 80s romp, this is one you positively can't miss.