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1980 Movie Reviews – Foolin’ Around

by Sean P. Aune | October 17, 2020October 17, 2020 10:30 am EDT

Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1980 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. It was also the start to a major shift in cultural and societal norms, and some of those still reverberate to this day.

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We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly three dozen.

Yes, we’re insane, but 1980 was that great of a year for film.

The articles will come out – in most cases – on the same day the films hit theaters in 1980 so that it is their true 40th anniversaries. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory. In some cases, it truly will be the first time we’ve seen them.

This time around it’s Oct. 17, 1980, and we’re off to see Foolin’ Around!

Quick side note: Since we launched this series this year, we’ve discovered that Vintage Video Podcast is doing the exact same project with two differences: First, it’s audio (naturally), and second, they are doing every major film. We’ve listened to a couple of episodes and it’s fun checking off their thoughts against my own. Check them out over at Vintage Video Podcast.

1980 Movie Project - Foolin Around - 01

Foolin’ Around

Foolin’ Around is not an easy movie to find. Apparently some sort of rights issue has kept it off home video for years now, but for the life of me I have no clue why anyone would want to own the rights to this sad excuse of a film.

I’ll be clear up front that Cloris Leachman and Tony Randall steal the film and I would have much rather watch the boss and servant fall in love than what we got. While the film focuses on a love story between Gary Busey and Annette O’Toole, they have the romantic chemistry of cement.

Wes (Busey) is a guy from rural Oklahoma that gets into college, but then needs work. He then ends up in a scientific experiment run by Susan (O’Toole) and we’re off to the raves of them falling in love because… reasons?

Foolin’ Around alternates between trying to be a romantic comedy and a slapstick farce and never dials in on any style. The romance between Wes and Susan never makes any sense. It just seems to happen, and part of what throws you off is their ages. Busey was already in his mid-30s by the time of this film, and he looked it. It was next to impossible to buy him as a college student. O’Toole is slightly more believable, but she still seems too old for college.

The slapstick nature of the film reaches almost animation levels and pulls you out of the story multiple times for being so over the top.

This is a definite “skip” for me, and so should it be for you.


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Sean P. Aune

Sean Aune has been a pop culture aficionado since before there was even a term for pop culture. From the time his father brought home Amazing