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Less Than Zero ... Our #ThrowbackThursday Movie starring Andrew McCarthy

In my take on the movie Brooklyn (which I loved)I described Emory Cohen as having an Andrew McCarthy smile. It’s something about the tightness of the mouth, maybe it’s just me. 

For the two of you who dont know who he is, McCarthy was one of the key members of the so called Brat Pack, a loose collection of the young stars of films that chronicled the 80s, movies like Pretty in Pink, St. Elmos Fire, both of which McCarthy was in, 16 Candles and The Breakfast Club, which he wasnt. 
A heartthrob then, the now fifty two year old continues to work as an actor but is primarily found behind the camera. If you watch The Black List starring James Spader, you’ve seen the Pretty in Pink costars collaborating, with Spader starring and McCarthy directing. He's behind the camera on several episodes of Orange is the New Black and Halt & Catch Fire. My son, who was working on Grace and Frankie as a p.a. when McCarthy directed an episode, said he seemed quiet and thoughtful. He also noticed that unlike many actors, McCarthy carried his own bag and that no one brought his car around. Instead, he walked, alone, to his car at the end of the night.

For the record, at 52 Andrew McCarthy is still pretty dishy

Heavier than your typical post-adolescent movies, Less Than Zero, was loosely based on the novel written by Brett Easton Ellis when he was still in college. The film starred Andrew McCarthy as Clay, a preppie type returns from college only to find that the girlfriend he left at home and his best friend are not only sleeping with each other, but spiraling out of control on cocaine-fueled benders. The best friend? Robert Downey, Jr. which has to be the official definition of irony. Jamie Gertz was the girlfriend, while James Spader played his sleazy dealer friend demanding to be paid.

Set in Los Angeles in the early 1980's, this coolly mesmerizing novel is a raw, powerful portrait of a lost generation who have experienced sex, drugs, and disaffection at too early an age, in a world shaped by casual nihilism, passivity, and too much money a place devoid of feeling or hope. 
Clay comes home for Christmas vacation from his Eastern college and re-enters a landscape of limitless privilege and absolute moral entropy, where everyone drives Porches, dines at Spago, and snorts mountains of cocaine. He tries to renew feelings for his girlfriend, Blair, and for his best friend from high school, Julian, who is careering into hustling and heroin. Clay's holiday turns into a dizzying spiral of desperation that takes him through the relentless parties in glitzy mansions, seedy bars, and underground rock clubs and also into the seamy world of L.A. after dark.

If you lived through the eighties you likely know someone who ruined their life in a blur of cocaine. Stories of average, hardworking men and women who destroyed their careers, lost their homes and families, in pursuit of a line of white powder back in the day are legion. If you didn’t live through the eighties, this is how it was. 

Less than Zero earned a 4 out 4 from Roger Ebert.  

Sadly, Less than Zero isn’t available to stream but you can rent the DVD via Netflix.