Working very, very late last night, I streamed “Less Than Zero” over Netflix on my second monitor. What a time capsule that movie is. From the fashions to the hairstyles to the subject matter to the music selections, it’s a fascinating portrait of the excesses, glamour, personalities and pathos of the Hollywood filmmaking machine in the late 80’s. Andrew McCarthy, the poster boy for ineffectual, feminine protagonists of the John Hughes era, actually does a pretty good job overall. Jami Gertz was inexplicably cast as a jaded, experienced party girl, and she comes off as a whiny teenager (some of her line readings made me actually cringe). Robert Downey Jr. was amazing, as usual, and completely sold the character of Julian; James Spader had the smarmy evil creep thing down to a science by then—a little hair gel and a pastel suit were all it took. There were a ton of tiny details I missed as a 17-year-old that made me smile twenty years later, and I’ve had the Bangles’ Hazy Shade of Winter going through my head all morning.

Date posted: February 23, 2011 | Filed under entertainment | Leave a Comment »

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