80s Comedy with Coolidge & Heckerling

Season 11 is live with our first series: 80s Comedy with Coolidge & Heckerling. We’ll be celebrating the comedy output of Amy Heckerling and Martha Coolidge with five films they directed in the 80s, plus a Member Bonus Episode! In our first episode covering Heckerling’s 1982 film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, we talk about why the film works so well, though there are still some elements we wonder about.

The second episode focuses on Coolidge’s 1983 film Valley Girl. This film was a big surprise for both of us, as was the musical remake in 2020. (We certainly hope to cover that film in a future Movies and Their Remakes member bonus episode.)

Our third episode looks at Heckerling’s spoof comedy from 1984, Johnny Dangerously. This was a film we both loved as kids. How well did it hold up? Really well.

For the fourth episode, we looked at what is our favorite film on this list: Coolidge’s 1985 comedy Real Genius. We were a bit worried how well it held up, but we didn’t have to worry at all – it holds up exceptionally well.

The last film in our series released to the public was Heckerling’s 1989 romantic comedy Look Who’s Talking. It’s her biggest hit, but why isn’t it talked about as much now? Probably because it doesn’t hold up as well as some of her other films. Still, we enjoy it.

We also include a member bonus episode for August 2021 and the members chose Heckerling’s 1985 sequel to National Lampoon’s Vacation, it’s the Griswalds on their adventures in Europe – National Lampoon’s European Vacation!

We end the series with a new members-only episode – it’s our Retake episode, and in it we look at the entire series, answering member questions, ranking the soundtracks, and doing some Flickchart.

It’s a fun series and a great one to kick off our 11th season. Let us know what you think!

The Next Reel's member bonus episode on Amy Heckerling's 1985 sequel National Lampoon's European Vacation

National Lampoon’s European Vacation

August 31, 2021

For our August 2021 member bonus episode, we add another film to our current ‘80s Comedy with Coolidge & Heckerling’ series. We talk about Amy Heckerling’s sequel to the original hit. Why does it feel subpar though? And is it Heckerling’s fault?

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The Next Reel's member bonus episode – Retake • A Look Back at our 80s Comedy with Coolidge & Heckerling series

Retake: 80s Comedy with Coolidge and Heckerling

August 29, 2021

This series is over. We’ve covered Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Valley Girl, Johnny Dangerously, Real Genius, Look Who’s Talking, and National Lampoon’s European Vacation. So what did we think of Amy Heckerling and Martha Coolidge and what they brought to the table?

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The Next Reel's episode on Amy Heckerling's 1989 romantic comedy Look Who's Talking

Look Who’s Talking

August 26, 2021

Fifth of five in our ‘80s Comedy with Coolidge & Heckerling’ series. Amy Heckerling returns to personal filmmaking but does it in a broad romantic comedy. We close out the series with a conversation about her most successful film.

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Real Genius

August 19, 2021

The fourth of five in our 80s Comedy with Coolidge and Heckerling series, and the second film directed by Martha Coolidge we’ve discussed on the show. So much to love in this film! It’s a film about smart people that feels genuine. Plus, there’s lots of popcorn too…

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Johnny Dangerously

August 12, 2021

How does director Amy Heckerling handle shifting to broad parody comedy, in a period film to boot? What do we think of Michael Keaton, Joe Piscopo, Marilu Henner, Maureen Stapleton, Griffin Dunne, and the rest of the cast? How about that alternate ending? Tune in to this week’s show to get answers to these questions and more!

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Valley Girl

August 5, 2021

What’s the story as to how director Martha Coolidge found Nicolas Cage for his part in this film? And how great is he with Deborah Foreman as the two leads? The Romeo and Juliet story works well in this teen world of the San Fernando Valley vs. the grungier Hollywood/DTLA. How do the actors deliver in creating these two worlds? And how about Coolidge and her music selections? We talk about all of this and more on this week’s show so check it out then tune in!

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Fast Times at Ridgemont High

July 29, 2021

Director Amy Heckerling got her start with ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High,’ but how does it hold up today? So many incredible young performers early in their careers in this film – Jennifer Jason Leigh, Sean Penn, Phoebe Cates, Judge Reinhold, Forest Whitaker, Anthony Edwards, Eric Stoltz, even Nicolas Cage! Who are the standouts? Is the film enough of a comedy or is it too serious? And how about the music? Tune in to this week’s show to get answers to these questions and more!

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