Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1983 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.
We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly four dozen.
Yes, we’re insane, but 1983 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 1983 so that it is their true 40th anniversary. 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 February 25, 1983, and we’re off to see Lovesick and Table for Five!
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 numerous episodes and it’s fun checking off their thoughts against my own. Check them out over at Vintage Video Podcast.
Maybe it’s my 21st-century sensibilities now, but why were so many characters in 80s films just downright unlikable?
Pscyhoanalyst Saul Benjamin (Dudley Moore) is approached by friend & colleague Otto Jaffe (Wallace Shawn) about a patient he has fallen for, Chloe Allen (Elizabeth McGovern). Shortly after learning about this, Jaffe passes away, and Benjamin is approached by Allen to take over as her therapist.
Within seconds, Benjamin has also fallen for her.
What follows is not only ethically questionable, but Benjamin turns into a flat out stalker, and, yet, Allen can’t help but fall for him?
This movie isn’t so much entertaining as it is closer to being a PSA for never go to therapy if you’re an attractive woman because all of your therapists will fall for you. While both leads are endlessly charming, it is just too difficult to get past all of the wrongdoings happening at every turn of this story. You don’t so much root for Benjamin as wonder when someone will stop him.
Table for Five
What happens when you load family of stereotypes on a cruise ship? You get Table for Five.
J.P. Tannen (Jon Voight) is a washed-up former professional golfer who has never really been there for his kids. In an attempt to reconnect with them he is going to take them on a Mediterranean cruise. Despite being responsible for himself and all the kids, it’s clear he plans to get him to his usual womanizing when he requests an extra chair at their table every night in case someone is to join them.
The kids are their own 2-dimensional nightmares. Truman-Paul (Robby Kiger) is the youngest and is unable to read, but due to the newfound love of his dad he can read by the last day of the cruise! The oldest son is the adopted Trung (Son Hoang Bui) who feels out of place and causes trouble all over the ship when not having his face buried in his hand-held video game. And Rilde (Roxanna Zal) is the sensible and sensitive middle child and sees it as her job to mother all of the men in her little traveling family.
While on their trip, their mother, Kathleen (Millie Perkins), is killed in a car accident. Their step-father, Mitchell (Richard Crenna), plans to come collect the children as he now plans to raise them on his own. Despite having found a lady friend on the ship, a Franch archeologist named Marie (Marie-Christine Barrault), Tannen decides to put his children first and he will now take them into his care.
The film plays far more like a movie of the week as opposed to a feature film. Despite the location shooting all over Europe, it never feels like something anyone needs to go to a theater to watch. It’s uneventful in the worst possible ways, and as paint-by-numbers as a family drama can get.
A completely unremarkable film.
1983 Movie Reviews will return on March 4, 2023 with Baby It’s You, Curtains, and My Tutor!
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