...a racy and highly entertaining love letter to 1980s movies ... Freeman’s journalistic instincts have rooted out a different story, one that concerns the narrowing of American culture and the betrayal of women in movies, on screen and off ... Freeman’s breathless prose often looks in danger of overheating...Thank God, then, for her sense of humour, always ready to prick the bubble of absurdity in which so many of these movies are incubated ... I can’t imagine a more passionate advocate of mainstream 80s movies than Freeman.
The author revels in her happy movie geekery. She swoons, with exaggerated sincerity ... Personally, I don’t think snooty critics are fighting the author as hard as she thinks, even those who prefer to dwell on the ’80s as the era of 'Blade Runner,' 'Raging Bull' and 'Blue Velvet' rather than 'Sixteen Candles' ... Still, mixed in with the slumber-party gush, Freeman makes many smart observations worth saving up and revisiting for a project less giggly than this.
Ms. Freeman’s love for the films she discusses is often infectious. Her analysis of the lasting appeal of 'The Princess Bride' (1987), for instance, is spot on ... Less infectious is her tendency to judge films for their political value rather than their artistic merit ... Readers who require their films to pass the Bechdel Test, which requires that any work of fiction has two named female characters who talk to each other about something apart from men, and come with a serving of social justice, will likely find much to appreciate in Ms. Freeman’s lively, footnote-infused writing. The rest of us are better off catching a re-run of the classic 1988 action film 'Die Hard.'