The words “remake” fill everybody with dread, especially when it’s followed by “of a movie you loved in your childhood.” But it’s worth pointing out that not all remakes are terrible, and nor are all remakes a terrible idea. In fact, we can think of five movies that could stand to be remade, classic or not…
Fast Times At Ridgemont High
If you were a teenager in the ’80s, you loved this movie. If you weren’t, you kind of find this movie boring, except for the parts with Spicoli And Rachel Hunter, albeit for entirely different reasons.
There’s a reason for that. The movie was actually based on a series of articles with reporters going undercover and observing what teenage life was actually like. It was less about the comedy than capturing what being a teenager in Southern California was really like.
Which we could actually use now, although we can skip the Southern California part. Think about how teens are portrayed in modern media; our personal favorite is The Secret Life of the American Teenager, featuring two guys fighting over who gets to raise the baby of the pregnant girl. Or a girl convinced that having good sex caused a car crash. Yeah. That’s hard hitting real life.
An honest movie about teenagers would be invaluable. Or at least a change of pace from the American Pie knockoffs. Even one that just admitted teenagers smoke weed would be a welcome change of pace.
Better Off Dead
Most people only remember single lines from this movie: “TWO DOLLARS!” “Gee, Ricky, I’m really sorry your mom blew up.” “Go that way, really fast. If anything gets in your way, turn.” But the rest of it is actually funny too, with gags hidden inside gags and layers upon layers, which is kind of necessary when you’re writing a movie about teenage suicide and depression. Yeah. The entire movie is about John Cusack killing himself.
Better Off Dead came from the hilariously diseased mind of Savage Steve Holland, who had an unfortunately short film career before going over to TV. But we’re unabashed fans of Savage Steve, and we think he deserves another shot at telling truths about American life via utter absurdity and dancing cheeseburgers playing Van Halen. Although we guess he’ll have to switch out the Van Halen, since they haven’t been relevant since 1993.
In this world of financial fraud and system gaming, the time has come for a real game-Wall-Street movie. And since Hollywood will never approve an original, we should come back to this.
There are other reasons too. Trading Places was as much a movie about institutional racism and class as it was about cracking people up, and exploring the way class and race relations have changed in the intervening twenty years would be a great way to add some real flavor to the comedy. We could see, say, Wyatt Cenac and Patton Oswalt really adding something to a movie like this.
Although whoever is trying to fill Jamie Lee Curtis‘ hotpants has a real problem on their hands.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Granted, we know the movie about the fantasy figure Cameron creates to help him deal with his problems (think about it, you know it’s true) is widely considered a classic, but we’ll make the same point about this movie that we’ve made about the rest of this list: this thing is very, VERY ’80s, and with each passing year, it gets a little more distant and out of date.
That and Ferris is a douche. Seriously. If you knew this guy in real life, you’d punch him for being a jerk just on general principle.
So let’s give it an update. It doesn’t even need much of a script tweak or a setting change. Although they could stand to make Ferris less of a douche.
Revenge of the Nerds
First off, Revenge of the Nerds just hasn’t aged well, comedy-wise. Ha-ha, she thinks it’s her boyfriend but it’s really a nerd! That’s rape in most jurisdictions! Hi-larious! It’s like we hadn’t invented feminism in 1985! (“But, ScreenCrave”, you say, “Didn’t you just have a picture at the top of this article of a woman about to take her red bikini top off?” To which we explain, shut up.)
Also, the view of nerds in society has changed substantially. As in, nerds have taken over pop culture by dint of the Internet. The majority of Americans are Star Trek fans. Heroes was a hit and was actually good for a season. People turn out in droves for comic book movies.
In short, we need an updated take on a group of nerds going to war against a group of jocks. One that properly reflects the fundamental shift in opinion, culture, and life in the twenty-first century.
Also, it needs a Mythbusters cameo. Stuff needs to blow up GOOD in this one.
Think there’s another movie that deserves a remake more? Let us know in the comments!