This is topic Bright Lights, Big City in forum « 80's Movies at iRewind Talk.

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Posted by markr (Member # 8513) on :
So, how come Bright Lights, Big City is not featured anywhere on this 80's film website? It was released in 1988 and starred Michael J Fox and 80's screen goddess Phoebe Cates. I've recently posted the film locations at
Posted by Valley (Member # 1322) on :
markr.. I think "Bright Lights, Big City" is a very good film, but "Less Than Zero" is the film I reference most when it comes to the 80's drug scene.

I thought Michael J. Fox was excellent, but back in 1988.. It was just a struggle for me to accept Marty McFly on drugs.

The cast for this movie is excellent.. Fox, Cates, Sutherland, Swoosie Kurtz, Tracy Pollan, Dianne Wiest, Kelly Lynch, and Sam Robards (son of Jason who was once married to Suzy Amis).

Great locations website which I always enjoy!
Posted by logan5 (Member # 1467) on :
I thought Michael J. Fox was excellent, but back in 1988.. It was just a struggle for me to accept Marty McFly on drugs.
You and everyone else, I think.

It actually grew on me a lot in the 80's. I think maybe I watched it when I was in the right moods.

Three previous threads on the movie (I repeat myself a lot in them!):;f=2;t=008499#000000;f=2;t=007236#000000;f=2;t=002012#000000
Posted by Muffy Tepperman (Member # 1551) on :
I'm watching this right now for the first time....and it is weird seeing Marty McFly snorting coke frequently and he looks so young!!!

it's an ok movie so far.....i'll let you know when im finished.
Posted by Muffy Tepperman (Member # 1551) on :
ok i'm really not sure i'm loving this movie??? the club scenes are cool....but the ferret? that was just weird? and Micheal J.Fox has my name in the movie so hearing it over and over is bugging's said alot!
Posted by logan5 (Member # 1467) on :
I won't try and defend it too much. I think it got into my head when I was in the right mood once

Michael was called 'Muffy'? How unusual. [Big Grin]
Posted by kevdugp73 (Member # 5978) on :
Now, I know I say a lot that I own this movie but haven't seen it, but, this has sat on my shelf for quite some time, and for some reason, always thought I'd seen it. Now I'm hearing about Michael J Fox snorting coke....I'd never forget that, so, yet another one....haven't seen it!
Posted by Muffy Tepperman (Member # 1551) on :
I've seen it on dvd in discount shops recently and I kept leaving it because i'd remembered not loving it I get it confused with the Joan Jett one that I remembered not loving either......I mean it's cool for all the 80's New York stuff.
Posted by kevdugp73 (Member # 5978) on :
Great will power Muffy....leaving it on the shelf. Me on the other hand, buy 80's movies...even if I don't like them...just to add to my collection. Now don't get me wrong...I'm not like aTomik who buys every movie from the 80's with a hint of neon color on the cover art, or someone with big hair...I at least have to of heard of the movie...hell...I even bought Rhinestone w' Sylvester Stallone!

* Sorry aTomik.....just sayin... [Frown]
Posted by Muffy Tepperman (Member # 1551) on :
How come there have been so many threads started about such a boring movie???

I knew i'd said something about it on here when I saw it..........

I still haven't seen Light of is it just as off?
Posted by Devolution (Member # 1731) on :
Devolution here,

Bright Lights, Big ZZZZZzzzzzz.

Recommendation to totally avoid.

We are DEVO
Posted by Logan 5 (Member # 1467) on :
I still haven't seen Light of is it just as off?
I like Bright Lights... but I don't like Light of Day at all.

One of the things about Bright Lights I think works (for me), is that it accurately captures what it feels like trying to hold down a job you don't care about while other things are happening in life. Yes, it's slow, but I find the drudgery of it well executed. Not very cinematic, but good enough for a late-night watch.
Posted by Leo Logan (Member # 9206) on :
The movie was helmed by James Bridges, who also made both "Urban Cowboy" and "Perfect" with John Travolta in the 80s. It was the last movie he directed before he died in 1993.
Posted by Bernie_Lomax (Member # 8571) on :
Thumbs down for me [Big Grin]
Posted by Nostalgic for the '80's (Member # 37454) on :
The book "Bright Lights, Big City" by JM was truly brilliant, and one of the best short novels I've ever read. It really captured the awe & wonder of moving away from a small town to a big metropolitan area, starting a new job & new life, and also being surrounded by temptation; the dissolution of a relationship (in this case a marriage) which has started off well but then went downhill fast; the relationship of adult kids to their parents & siblings; etc. All in all, this was an incredible novel that I try to re-read every several years.

So, I really wanted to like the film when I first saw this back in the 200X's. However, it just didn't ring true to me. I felt that not only was it a extremely poor adaptation of the book, but a poor film overall. I'm not a MJF fan & really didn't think he was well-cast in the film.

The only element I liked in the film were the nightclub scenes, since they featured a lot of '80's new wave groups that I like (New Order, etc.). However, these sequences didn't come close to saving the movie for me.

It's interesting that a "sister" novel to BLBC was "Less than Zero" - which had a lot of similar '80's elements. And, while I didn't like the LTZ novel, I thought the movie was great. In the case of BLBC, I thought the novel was superb, but felt the film was sub-par. Go figure...

[ 19. October 2016, 13:34: Message edited by: Nostalgic for the '80's ]
Posted by Crash (Member # 7484) on :
I was never a fan of that group of snotty yuppie 80s writers like Jay McInerny, Bret Ellis Easton, and Tama Janowitz. Way overrated as writers, most of the films of their work aren't very good, like Bright Lights Big City, Less Than Zero, and Slaves of New York. The film version of Easton's American Psycho works only because Mary Lambert, the director, and Genevieve Turner, the screenwriter, took such a radically different approach from the novel.
Posted by Logan 5 (Member # 1467) on :
They were very 'hip' writers at the time. Some of them improved and some of them were kind of lost to the decade. The adaptations of Less Than Zero and Bright Lights (can't remember Slaves of New York that well) failed as much because they were miscast as anything else - even though they both have moments. American Psycho is definitely the strongest of the bunch.
Posted by Nostalgic for the '80's (Member # 37454) on :
I felt JM's novel "Bright Lights, Big City" was superb - one of the best novels I've read. Very heartfelt, for the reasons I've already mentioned.

The flash-back scene in the novel where the main character spent time with his mother when she was dying of cancer was extremely depressing, but also poignant.

I did try to read some of JM's later novels, and could never get into them.

I agree that Bret Easton Ellis was not as good; I didn't like the novelization of "Less than Zero", and couldn't make my way through "American Psycho".

I did think the AP film was great, but they changed the story significantly from the novel. Liked the '80's setting and music, notably Genesis - one of my favorite groups from back in the day.

[ 22. October 2016, 12:52: Message edited by: Nostalgic for the '80's ]

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