SEPARATE VACATIONS (1985) Yet another 1980s post-Woody Allen romantic comedy.

separatevacations_usposterTheme Song:


“On the Brink,” written by Tony Macaulay, performed by Sandy McLelland. Totally 80s song.

Interesting Dated References: The 80s in their entirety, including how people made movies and illustrated movie posters.

Best Line: “Women marry men hoping they’ll change. Men marry women hoping they won’t change. They both end up very disappointed.”

Social Context: In the 80s, people did a lot of cocaine and wrote a lot of bad scripts they thought were really great. A lot of these got made into post-Woody Allen romantic comedies. Everyone thought their script was so smart and edgy and “indicative of our day and age.” They were all wrong. This is one of those movies.

Summary: How confusing is it to look at a 20-year-old romantic comedy movie poster and not recognize either of the “big name” leads? It’s actually very refreshing. Perhaps some of today’s romantic leads will share the same fate. One can only hope. Oh, I just realized the guy in this is from American Werewolf in London. He must have been trying to expand his horizons.

So wow, talk about hyper-realistic depictions of life; Richard is jogging with his walkman. He gets home just as hot breakfast is being served by his wife Sarah to their three kids. Typical comedic banter ensues, then it’s off to school for the kids with their already packed lunches. Then Richard is suddenly at his super awesome job as an architect in a really neat office. I mean, it’s just all so … not at all what life is really like. So Richard talks with his coworker, who explains an affair he’s having.

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1985 everywhere. Datsuns, wood grain kitchens with red and orange tile, buildings with weird angles, houses with weird doors, frumpy potato sack pants on women, pastels. Everything in this movie is 1985. It’s like a time capsule of poor aesthetic choices.

So, Dick decides to go on vacation by himself in Mexico while his wife and kids go on a skiing trip. Dick tries to have sex with women but fails over and over. His wife, meanwhile, is seducing a young ski instructor. Oh, and Sarah referenced that she was 30. She has 3 kids and she’s clearly 37 or 8.

Richard fails in Mexico after a few attempts at affairs. These scenes include some nudity, if you care. He returns home to the ski lodge and finds Sarah in the arms of the ski instructor. Then she tells him their marriage is over and he slaps her. She plays it off as no big deal. Dick heads home and attempts to seduce the babysitter, while Sarah attempts to seduce the ski instructor, but both chicken out. Sarah goes home, they talk and make up, and then they make hot love. They realize the grass isn’t always greener on the other side, and that they need to focus on their relationship more. The movie actually ends with the family in a circle with the dad saying, “Come on kids, let’s have fun!,” and then ends with a freeze-frame of everyone jumping in the air.

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Poster and Box Art: This movie gets mad props for its weird airbrush/painting hybrid. They could have easily gone photo, but they actually paid someone to airbrush the hell out this thing. Look at that chick’s teeth!

Availability: I’m willing to bet I’m the only person to watch this movie to completion in the last 10 years. But if you wish, you can buy a used VHS from Amazon.

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