Do you remember this scene from the 1985 not classic film Perfect? The one with John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis sexercising in an aerobics class? It’s the one that looks like a porn version of those insane Crystal Light aerobics competitions from the ’80s. A true Hollywood classic.
You probably remember the scene more than the actual film it’s from, the former having made the rounds on the internet for years as a sort of “lol the 80s” meme. The movie is about a Rolling Stone reporter (Travolta) who is writing a story about sexual promiscuity at fitness clubs (they’re the new singles bars apparently). But that’s only on the side because he’s also writing some sort of political exposé, and he’s traveling between New York and Los Angeles to do it. It’s… convoluted. Anyway, Travolta befriends/dates/betrays/dates aerobics instructor Jessie (Curtis) and that’s the whole movie. Jann Wenner and Carly Simon also star in this.
Not important. What is important is this scene:
There’s just so much to unpack here. For one thing, this used to be the most popular form of exercise in America. Aerobics was practically a national pastime. Aside from the monster piece of evidence already before us that is the fact that they made a movie about aerobics, check out the aforementioned Crystal Light national aerobics competition.
It actually somehow makes sense that Rolling Stone Magazine would write a story about it. This decade was absolutely mesmerizing.
But back to the video at hand. Here are some stray observations about this, um, uniquely ’80s experience.
- Apparently, all men used to work out exclusively in destroyed clothes. Not like purposely “destroyed” jeans that you buy with rips and fades already in them. Destroyed as in they should literally be thrown in the trash. Makes you feel like an idiot for paying forty dollars for a Nike running shirt when instead you could’ve been jogging in a blood-covered t-shirt you ripped on an exposed nail. Could you just show up to one of these classes in an old potato sack, tube socks, and tennis shoes?
- In contrast to the men wearing clothes that Goodwill wouldn’t accept, the women are wearing super stylish one pieces. The woman in front of Travolta even has a stylish little belt. Just another example of unfair gender expectations.
- This is uncomfortably erotic. I can understand why everyone in these classes was doing each other. You make faux sex moves for long enough and you’re going to want to do it for real.
- John Travolta is packing heat.
- ’80s Jamie Lee Curtis is unreal. She looks as toned as a marble statue.
- This scene is oddly well shot. Like really well shot, considering it otherwise plays like a scene that advances the plot in a softcore porno.
- The facial expressions in this scene make me uncomfortable. But in a good way?
- I am happy this form of exercise pretty much died.
This post was originally published October 26, 2018.