In my YA romance (WIP) that takes place in the 80s, three female friends enjoy gathering at one another’s apartments (they all live in the same complex) to scarf down popcorn, gossip, and fight over which movie to slip into the VCR. Each has their faves. During one scene in the WIP, the girls are curled up on the sofa watching Valley Girl when their very-angry boyfriends show up. So I thought I’d do a post in honour of my female characters. Instead of me listing my fave movies as a teenager, I am going to list theirs.
1. I mentioned Valley Girl previously, so this film is on the list. Since my female characters are from Brooklyn, they’re intrigued by the girls who reside in the San Fernando Valley, wondering if being a Valley girl is any different from being a girl on the east coast.
The plot to Valley Girl has been done a million times, but it’s still a fun watch. The popular Julie grows tired of her boyfriend Tommy who takes her for granted. To be honest, I think she’s looking for an excuse to dump him. At the beach later, she spies a dripping-wet Randy, who later shows up at her friend Suzy’s party.
It’s love at first sight for the duo, but her friends, Suzy and Stacy, don’t approve, while Loryn sees Tommy for what he is. Does Julie dare risk losing her popularity, and her chance at being crowned prom queen, all for Randy?
2. Streets of Fire. The stunning blonde secondary character who is the “queen” of the hive from my WIP, lists this as her fave. She loves rock-n-roll, and dreams about having a rocker boyfriend of her own.
The movie has a “fantasy” feel to it because the city doesn’t look like any typical North American city. When I watched this, I was transported into the same dark setting Walter Hill used to direct The Warriors. Some refer to is as a blending of the 1950s and the future.
Ellen Aim is the lead singer for the Attackers. When a group of bikers kidnap her on stage in mid-performance, a girl dials her brother for help—Ellen’s ex-boyfriend Tom Cody. Tom agrees to get Ellen back. His side-kick McCoy joins him. Billy Fish, Ellen’s latest boyfriend, insists on helping. Can Tom save Ellen before it’s too late? And what about their past love affair? Is it truly over between the two?
3. There is actually a movie poster of Bad Boys hanging on my secondary character’s (the blonde queen bee) wall. For too long she thinks they dated too many “good guys,” who are more interested in sports and keeping their image clean. She tells her circle of friends it’s time to find boys with attitude.
Mick O’Brien is a small time thief who graduates to criminal when a heist goes wrong. His buddy is killed, and Mick accidently hits the eight-year-old brother of the guy he tried to steal drugs from, when he’s fleeing the police. The boy dies. Mick is sentenced to a juvenile corrections facility. Wanting revenge is the boy’s older brother Paco.
Take a peek inside the life of a reformatory where boys don’t play by the rules and it’s every fella for himself. The worst of the lot are held in Block D that’s run by two heavies who take an instant dislike to Mick.
4. Fascinated with sixties music, clothes, make-up and hair–a time when her single mother came of age, the easy-going female protagonist of my WIP adores Eddie and the Cruisers because the movie is set during such a groovy era in time.
Eddie Wilson’s mysterious death from over twenty years ago is investigated by a female reporter. Although Eddie’s car was pulled from the river when he crashed off a bridge, his body was never recovered. The reporter tracks down the members of Eddie’s former band and they reminisce with her about their former glory days.
Before Eddie’s death, the Cruisers were working on their second album that was never released because the studio hated the songs Eddie wrote. Now someone is breaking into the homes of the Cruisers, looking for the master tapes.
5. The slew of teenage girls who fell in love with Stephanie Myers’ Twilight aren’t any different than the 80s chicks who wanted their own vampire from The Lost Boys; my three female characters included. The protagonist of my WIP thinks the dark-haired, mysterious Dwayne is super-hot, the lovely Hispanic prefers the lively Marco, and the queen bee naturally picks David, the head Lost Boy.
The fictional Santa Carla is known as the murder capital in the US. Relocating from Arizona to the ocean side town are divorcee Lucy and her two sons, Michael and Sam. They are drawn to the packed boardwalk and amusement park. While Lucy interviews for a job, Michael and Sam check out the busy hub. This is when Michael sees Star, a half-vampire. Michael is drawn into the world of the Lost Boys, and it’s up to Sam and the Frog Brothers to save the family from certain doom.
6. If my female protagonist loves the sixties and dancing, then tops on her list of movies is Dirty Dancing, a coming-of-age flick set during the era of peace and love.
On vacation with her family at a resort in upstate New York, Baby meets the handsome dance instructor Johnny Castle who comes from a different world. She is privileged and entertaining the idea of the Peace Corps and college, while the job at the resort is Johnny’s livelihood.
When Johnny’s dance partner becomes pregnant and undergoes an abortion that Baby’s father unknowingly pays for, Baby takes the place of the dance partner. During the many rehearsals they fall in love, but complications arise, threatening to end their budding relationship.
7. Back to the queen bee’s fascination with bad boys, another movie she enjoys is Class of 1984.
The new teacher, Andrew Norris, arrives at an inner-city high school. As he enters the premises, he’s shocked to find that students must pass through a metal detector in case they’re carrying weapons. In the staff room later, he’s warned about the violence directed at teachers—especially by a gang led by Peter Stegman, a punk rocker who deals drugs and pimps out girls for prostitution.
Norris gets on the wrong side of Stegman and becomes the main target for the teenager’s penchant for violence. Somehow, he must put a stop to Stegman, since he has no proof to offer the police, because Stegman is great at covering his tracks.
8. The protagonist’s stunning Hispanic friend in my WIP enjoys Less Than Zero, a dark film dealing with the consequences of drug use. This is a movie the trio see at the theatre one evening.
Clay is a freshman at college. In high school, he dated a great girl named Blair and was tight with his buddy Julian. When he returns to his Beverly Hills home for the Christmas holidays, all is not right. Blair, who is now seeing Julian, tells Clay about Julian’s escalating drug habit and the heavy debt he incurred to feed his nasty habit.
Clay agrees to help. While he and Blair attempt to straighten out Julian, feelings surface and they rekindle their love affair.
The fight is on to get Julian off of drugs. Can they save their friend, or is it already too late?
9. Another fave for the sassy Hispanic in my WIP is Angel, about a high school girl who lives with her bed-ridden mother and is befriended by the female landlord, along with her drag queen friend. In order to pay for her tuition and rent, come nightfall Angel works the Sunset Strip. Flipping burgers won’t generate a good income for a young girl with no skills, but prostitution will.
She keeps her secret well hidden from everyone at North Oak High School. But there is a big problem: a killer is on the loose who is murdering Angel’s fellow street-walking friends. She can’t afford not to work, so Angel continues to proposition men, never knowing if the car she’s getting into is the killer’s.
A school guidance counsellor is on to Angel, though, ready to unearth the real truth of what’s happening in Angel’s life, while a police officer who is investigating the killings wants to help Angel get off the streets.
10. My female protagonist isn’t completely stuck in the sixties LOL; she also enjoys current music, especially Prince, so it’s only natural another movie on her top ten list is Purple Rain.
Set in Minneapolis, and introducing the Minneapolis sound to the eighties, the Kid is an upcoming musician with the same self-destructive behaviour as his father. He meets a beautiful aspiring singer named Appollonia who he begins romancing.
Old habits are hard to change, though, especially when the Kid’s rival Morris takes an interest in Appollonia. In addition, the Kid is having a hard time keeping it together with his band: The Revolution.
What about your characters? What movies do they enjoy?