Thursday, February 24, 2011

An 80s Favorite & A Kind Act

This morning I read a fantastic article by the very talented author Dana Reinhardt, in which she discusses a chance encounter with, and a considerate act from, the equally talented actor Robert Downey Jr. You can read the article here:

Although I’ve always been a fan of Robert’s work, this article made me appreciate him even more. I just love people who spread kindness around.

It also made me remember that a couple of weeks ago I had promised to write a few blog posts about my favorite things from the 1980s...because, if you’ve read my novel or have heard about it, you know that it’s set from 1985 to 1989.

A noteworthy film from the 1980s is Less Than Zero, which was released in 1987 and is based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis.

The movie stars Robert Downey Jr., Jami Gertz, Andrew McCarthy, and James Spader. And if you’re only familiar with James Spader from Boston Legal, I can tell you that he was in quite a few films during the 1980s. He frequently played arrogant, slimy, elitist characters—and he was SO good at it. In Less Than Zero, he’s an evil drug dealer who is owed a lot of money from the character played by Robert Downey Jr.

The novel and the movie are quite YA-ish...the main characters are eighteen years old, and the story is a gritty one that deals with romantic relationships, friendship, family issues, and drug addiction.

For the film, The Bangles remade the 1968 Simon & Garfunkel song Hazy Shade of Winter, and they did a great job. In fact, this song is on my Other Words for Love playlist ( and it inspired me while I was writing the novel.

The video for Hazy Shade of Winter is below and it has images from the film, which are very 1980s and provide a glimpse back to that time. If you haven't seen Less Than Zero, you might want to check it out!