Blast from the Past: Actors Make Movie

We movie buffs talk a lot about casting. Was the movie cast well? Do the actors portray the characters well? And so on…

In Blast from the Past, the cast MADE the movie. Sure, it’s silly, funny, cute, and entertaining, but the actors made this movie much more than a story. Had other actors been in these roles, the movie would have flopped as so many have. The premise is a little out there, and if I had read the script, I don’t know if I would have thought it was a good idea, but these four characters made it work:

Christopher Walken – Is there anything more needed? It’s Christopher Walker. He plays a quirky, genius dad whose purpose is to protect his family. Walken plays a concerned dad who loves and trusts his family unconditionally. His character is just weird enough to not alarm audiences, and people can relate to his political views and paranoia. In fact, I’m sure many people in the 60s worried about the Cold War and bomb threats, and I know because I’ve talked with people from this era, and the threats were a real, terrifying thing. He’s a stereotypical “dominate” alpha male from the 60s, yet he has a soft spot for his family.

blast from the past parents
Photo: letherebemovies.com

Sissy Spacek – Even though she’s a minor character in some ways, she symbolizes a lot. Spacek is one of my favorite characters because she represents the strong female. She becomes depressed and discontent after being locked away but still supports her family. She pushed Fraiser to go up to the surface to gather supplies and gauge how bad life really was (her husband had been up once already). She believes in fresh air, nature, and beauty. My favorite personality traits include questioning others’ decisions and providing for her family. She shows that a mom can cook, clean, teach her son to dance, and challenge authority and norms when needed – a much needed role model is today’s time.

Brenden Fraser – I believe Fraser has to play specific roles in order to be good. I’ve seen several of his movies, but he performs best when he’s portraying a dork. Blast from the Past and Bedazzled are two of my favorite Fraser movies, and in both he played very similar roles: oblivious, dorky, innocent, and complacent. In this movie, he enjoys the things we take for granted (the sky, ocean, rain, everyday miracles) and helps us remember that life is more than money and possessions – it’s about the little things. Not may actors can portray that genuine sense of innocence and traditionalism. He helps take the audience back to a different time when things were simple and meaningful.

blast from the past
Photo: movies.about.com

Alicia Silverstone – Shallow, squealy, and gorgeous are my best words to describe her. Silverstone does an amazing job portraying a jaded, cynical woman who just wants to find “the one”. She’s a little crazy and doesn’t have her life together, but like so many, she’s not lost. She’s comfortable with who she is and uses it to her advantage. Her character complements Frasier’s well in that she’s the polar opposite, but they mesh well together. She teaches him about modern-day life, and he makes her appreciate the little things. Sometimes we need the person who makes us see things a different way.

I love this romcom for many reasons, but sometimes you have to give all the credit to the cast. I’m an individual fan of all of the above, so having them in one movie is a real treat. If you haven’t seen it or haven’t seen it in awhile, definitely check it out and pay attention to the little things we may overlook!

A Blast from the Past: Clueless

It’s time to let my secret out: I love teen movies. I know what you’re thinking. I have seen that reaction first-hand when I admit it’s my second-favorite genre. People are shocked, but many teen movies are funny, entertaining, and pretty true to the time period.

That chick from the Aerosmith videos. The girl with the awesome (or crazy) hats. And the adorably helpless girl in flannel with red hair.

If you grew up in the 90s, you know Clueless – and you know it is a great teen movie. Some of it is unrealistic unless you live in Beverly Hills, but it’s well written and a good flick.

Was I Clueless?

me in seventh grade in jeans and a flannel shirt

I was 13 when Clueless came out, and I think I saw it on the big screen. I was so jealous of Cher’s (Alicia Silverstone) wardrobe. That movie made me want to go out and buy new clothes. It still has that effect on me!

I rewatched it a few weeks ago and the 90s came flooding back. Sagging, beepers, weave, flannel, and The Cranberries. Ah… 90s music. In 7th grade, I thought Travis the skater guy was cute. I didn’t get all the jokes either, which was probably a good thing. That’s when I started dying my hair, too.

My Grown-up Perspective

If you want someone to see what the 90s were like, Clueless is a movie to show them. The 90s weren’t all about depression, grunge, and crowd surfing. We had our own mix of styles, enjoyed various kinds of music, and I doubt you’ll find a larger group of people who love cartoons and teen shows more than us. We love them so much, Nickelodeon brought them back in 2011 with the 90s Are All That.

One of my favorite scenes in the movie is Cher discussing high school boys and why we should not date them. “They roll out of bed, throw on some clothes and a backwards cap, and we’re supposed to swoon?” Amen, sister. I remember watching that in middle school and thinking, “Why do I like the boys at my school?”

Unlike a lot of teen movies, guys dig Clueless – whether they want to admit it or not. The cast is full of cute girls, the guys are genuine, and it’s funny. It is very funny.

Bigger Issues

Clueless touched on a number of subjects that affect teens even today. Worthless classes, teachers (good and bad), relationships and unrequited love, homosexuality, popularity, and cliques. The rich-kid attitude aside, this movie was a great representation of teens and how they interact with each other.

I also appreciate that the cliques in this movie mesh well. That is not something you see very often, and it’s a shame that no matter where you are, there are little groups of uninviting close-knit people. It’s a good thing to mix it up now and then.

Today, we all know the cute (Tai) late Brittany Murphy, the charming (Josh) Paul Rudd, the gorgeous (Dionne) Stacey Dash, and the cool (Travis) Breckin Meyer. These kids and several more, paired with a fun-loving group of adults, created one of the funniest and best teen movies you’ll ever see. Check out the reunion video below!