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The 1980s were an unusual time. And not just because of the gaudy, neon-influenced fashions, or the synth-heavy music. The movies were insane, as well. For every Indiana Jones movie, or instant classics like Back to the Future, we endured head-scratchingly bizarre films. Like the Police Academy sequels. And Perfect, an aerobics-based romance starring John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis. The movie's in the headlines today for the wrong reasons... I think. This clip from the film is going viral. We can't really look away, and I think that's the point:
Didn't think you were going to spend any minutes of your day staring at John Travolta's gyrating crotch, did you? Well, you thought wrong! I can't remember if this is an actual, unedited scene from Perfect, that just happens to last this long. It doesn't seem to have been tampered with, and from everything I can recall about Perfect (this is more than 30 years ago, and I only watched the movie once), a lengthy scene of Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis making steamy eyes at each other in an aerobics class while some catchy pop-dance track fits about as snug as that leotard on Curtis' tight bod.
Directed by James Bridges, Perfect cast Travolta -- still red hot thanks to Blow Out ('81) and Staying Alive ('83) -- as a reporter for Rolling Stone who was researching an article on L.A. fitness clubs. When he ends up falling for the instructor he has interviewed for the piece, Travolta's character wrestles with the decision to publish his story or scrap it, due to ethics in journalism. Yeah, it was a different time back then.
Here, the trailer will give you a better taste of Perfect:
What I love about this viral video is that it exists because someone stumbled on the dated nature of an '80s movie that, truthfully, was normal for its time. These types of plots -- lovers at odds over seemingly thin arguments -- flooded movie theaters in 1985, when Perfect came out. In fact, I'm more fascinated in the movies that Perfect competed against at the time. A quick scan of Box Office Mojo reveals that Perfect opened the same day as The Goonies! The rest of the month rounded out with bona-fide classics like Prizzi's Honor, Secret Admirer with C. Thomas Howell, Cocoon, and St. Elmo's Fire. That's a stacked deck, even before I tell you that Back to the Future was the July 3 opener that year. The box office was on fire.
Anyway, this is your totally unexpected message from me to check out Perfect, if you haven't yet. Renting it gives you a reason to stop looking at the viral clip of Travolta and Curtis gyrating at each other. Because we know you haven't stopped staring at it since you came in here.