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Guest Post: Andrew McCarthy's Against the Odds Romances

I'm excited to share a guest post from fellow blogger and film fanatic Gill Jacob, at Realweegiemidget Reviews. As an added bonus, it's about one of my favorite topics: Andrew McCarthy movies! I've been working on a long-gestating post about McCarthy that, fingers crossed, will see the light of the day this year. In the meantime, here are some of Gill's thoughts on Andrew's "against the odds romance" films. If you grew up on his films, you'll find a lot to love about Gill's post. Enjoy!

FILMS… Andrew McCarthy Against The Odds Romances

Heaven help me, 5 Times that Andrew McCarthy won my heart…

As a teen – and for a wee while after that – I confess to having a bit of a crush on Andrew McCarthy, famed for his sensitive roles… and usually falling for a girl but she usually came with some catch!


In the 1980s, being good and dirty on the dance floor like Patrick Swayze or a bit of a boyish charmer like Rob Lowe often got you the girl. However, one actor, usually playing a quiet sensitive type seemed to win the girl more than most. These parts were often played by Andrew McCarthy, but usually there was some wee problem with the girls he fell for in his bid for true love.  So here’s a list some of his these roles, I enjoyed him in as I’m sure I’m not the only one who had a bit of a crush on him back then…

St Elmo’s Fire (1985)

This film centres round the lives of seven friends who are recently graduated from university. Starring minor to major brat packers in lead and supporting roles aplenty. At the time, I saw McCarthy’s character Kevin as a sensitive, cynical writer disillusioned with love yet hoping for the love of his best friend Alec (a yuppie Judd Nelson)’s girl.. Leslie being played by Ally Sheedy. McCarthy’s female friends believe he’s gay , mainly because he hasn’t made a pass at the hottie of the group, Jules (Demi Moore). The catch with Leslie however of course, is that his chance romantic encounter with her backfires on him spectacularly but surprisingly not because Kevin is more than a bit odd, as he sleeps in a coffin (as you do, but only if you are a vampire) and watches on his friend Kirby to be a stalker to the object of his affection,  Dale (annoying Andie McDowall character)..
.The cast also included Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe and Mare Winningham. Sadly this film hasn’t stood the test of time and is as typically 80s with the wannabe yuppie characters and Rob Lowe’s character’s saxophone. At the time, I was obsessed with McCarthy, I knew this movie off by heart, to no doubt the despair of friends and family. Now is a tad embarrassing as I find its characters more than annoying and that the movie is more than a bit dull, but maybe that’s my age.

Mannequin (1987)

Jonathan (McCarthy) a frustrated artist falls in love with his own creation, a store mannequin , who looks vaguely like Kim Cattrall.  It turns out – as explained in the animated credits –  the mannequin has the spirit of an Egyptian princess looking for true love. So Jonathan (McCarthy) ends up getting a job at the same store as the mannequin with movie coincidence luck – as you do – and he gets to dress her every morning in a series of stunning window displays (Sadly this bit isn’t seen for the legions of men who probably were hoping for it. Aw.) This leads to jealously from his girl and the store’s rival competitors. Of course, when the mannequin comes to life as Kim Cattrall they fall madly in love. Obviously the catch is she’s a dummy and only he knows her secret. This leads to many hysterical moments deriving from this…oh how we laughed (maybe once). Anyway, their love leads to lots of montages, a dance routine and much more hilarity. The film also has sadly more predictable role for G.W. Bailey who played the store security guard from the Police Academy series.

Fresh Horses (1988)

McCarthy’s character Matt is a well off student and is engaged to be married. His friend Tipton – played by Ben Stiller –  suggests they go to a party in the country. They go and by chance he meets and falls for Jewel (Molly Ringwald). She claims she is 20 and there is an immediate attraction between them despite their differences. He is rich, she is poor. He is educated, she isn’t. A bit like Rose and Jack on Titanic (1997) but without the boat, or the iceberg. Matt and Jewel fall in love and he calls off his engagement. However she is keeping a number of secrets from him…which are revealed in the trailer – so it’s up to you if you want to find out – as this drama continues. Ringwald showed more ranges in her acting talent in this one, and it was lovely seeing her reunited with McCarthy on-screen after Pretty in Pink (1986) in this against all odds romance.

Class (1983)

In Class McCarthy plays class new boy, Jonathan who has won a scholarship to attend a prestigious school but cheated in the tests to get him there. Rob Lowe plays his roommate Skip who plays a prank on him, after which Jonathan retaliates. The two become firm friends after this and they confide secrets with each other.  Skip decides he should send Jonathan to Chicago to gain more experience with the ladies, there Jonathan meets an older woman named Ellen (Jacqueline Bisset) and they embark on a sexual relationship. And have a lot of sex in elevators and more conventional places…The catch, both don’t realise she is his roommates mother… which again is revealed by the tell-tale trailer and movie tag line.
This film was one of the many 1970s to 80s older woman younger man moments on the screen, with other younger men including John Travolta and Lily Tomlin (Moment by Moment, 1978)  and of course Dallas‘s Linda “Sue Ellen Ewing” Gray with then cinema hottie Christopher Atkins who played Peter Richards as John Ross’s camp counsellor. And the numerous younger men bedded by Dynasty‘s Alexis Colby (Joan Collins). However McCarthy appears quite adorably cute in his scenes with Bisset and very much the awkward kid when they meet, in his first film alongside Rob Lowe.

Pretty in Pink (1986)

In this John Hughes directed movie, McCarthy plays Blane a nice rich, boy next door type who hopes to wins poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks, Andie Walsh’s heart. Sounds familiar, luckily she has no secrets but his time their relationship doesn’t get the immediate approval of their best friends, Andies’s best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) and Blane’s best buddy 1980s douchebag Steff, who is played to slimey perfection by James Spader. It also didn’t help much of the test – and actual audiences – were rooting for Duckie. This is because the audience saw how hopelessly in love Duckie was with Andie, how much more funny and cool he was.. serenading Andie with Otis Redding and his famous one liners,
Bland Blane didn’t stand a chance. Probably this film, did lead to many girls wanting to be Blane’s girl with that first moment where he just smiles at her after he contacts her via computer. You can see why Ringwald wanted him cast as Blane, as imdb states she fought for him to have the role saying he was the kind of guy that she’d date.
So girls of a certain age, wouldn’t you love to have that choice if you were an actress in personally picking your leading man who you get to snog (and presumably get to shout CUT so the scenes redone to your liking. As I’m sure  a few of you would make the same toyboy choice as Leslie Mann did in Vacation (2015) getting that full on snog with one Chris Hemsworth….
About Gill:
Gill Jacob is a wee (5ft) random Expat Scottish lass living in Finland with the love of her life, Darlin’ Husband and her Dallas Boxsets and more. Prone to gittering (ie rambling on with purpose) about Films TV Books & ALL things Entertainment on her blog Realweegiemidget Reviews. Can be followed on the usual websites Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Happy to promote anything with an entertainment tie in from themed toothbrushes to autobiographies and indie films and TV to blockbusters. And 100% obsessed with Dallas the original series… More about Realweegiemidget Reviews is found on my About Me page HERE… and I can be contacted HERE.


  1. I actually heard John Parrs song St Elmo's Fire on the radio at work this morning, what are the chances of that? As always I loved reading Gill's thoughts, especially the uniquely British brand of humour she brings to her posts. It's been years since I watched these films, but I do miss the 80s more and more, as time passes.
    It is great to see two of my favourite writers joining forces. These friendships really make this blogging malarkey worthwhile. I hope there are more collaborations to come.

    1. My son and I are big fans of that song, so all it takes is someone mentioning it and I start humming it in my head. Thanks for stopping by and supporting the site, as always, my pfriend. I'm excited to post swap with Gill too, so stay tuned for more, hopefully.


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