Sunday, March 6, 2016

Less Than Zero

When I was 13, I had a bout of pneumonia that sidelined me for over a week. We had HBO at the time and Less Than Zero was one of those movies that I really wanted to see but knew the subject matter was intense enough to watch when my parents weren't around.

I didn't realize how obsessed I was with that movie until tonight when I watched it on HBO.

Lots of teenage girls have dreams of running away to Hollywood to become famous; my dream was to run away to Hollywood and become a glamorous rich kid who did lots of cocaine and stole their parents' jewelry.

I wanted to live in a loft like Blair and occasionally hook up with my boyfriend's drug-addicted best friend.

I wanted to go to parties with fake snow and The Bangles' "Hazy Shade of Winter."
I wanted to wear pleated pants and a big plastic bow in my hair.

I wanted to make out with my boyfriend in his vintage Corvette.

Is it weird that was my fantasy?

Of course I knew that was ridiculous. Less Than Zero did not have a happy ending. And I now realize a lot that I just didn't understand at the that Julian wasn't being paid to "party."

I never had that life of glamour and decadence that was so big in 80s pop culture. I never even had a drug problem. I once had a blazer with shoulder pads; that's as close as I ever got to Less Than Zero.

What a weird flood of memories to come back while watching this movie. As different as I think I am since I was 13, there are parts of me that are still as insecure now as I was then.
But I'm not about to bust out some pleated pants and cocaine. Or even read the book because I heard it's super-different and I want to keep my memories of Clay, Blair and Julian as they were cast in the film.

Stay tuned for next week, when I watch Heathers and talk about how badly I wanted to play strip croquet with Christian Slater.


  1. The book is super different...I'm in the minority but I didn't like it. At least in the movie Clay was portrayed as a marginally nice guy, but he's pretty much a prick in the book

    1. It would be hard to see 80s-era Andrew McCarthy portraying a prick.