Today is National Pizza Day, and over the past few years I’ve considered it a personal challenge to come up with an Ivy tie-in every time some silly national day comes up. It didn’t take much grinding and churning of the little grey cells to come up with the notion of taking a quick look at the 1988 film “Mystic Pizza.”
I remember seeing the movie as an 18-year-older when it was released. That was the year I became interested in menswear, as well as all the good stuff from the past. I got Flusser’s “Clothes And The Man,” spent every discretionary penny on clothes, read Tom Wolfe’s “Bonfire Of The Vanities,” and saw Mel Tormé in concert.
But life being the curious thing that it is, I never would have guessed that decades later I’d be living in New York and that Mystic, Connecticut, where the movie is set, would become my chosen rest-stop location on motor trips up the East Coast. I made a point to stop in Mystic just a couple of months ago on my way to Cape Cod for DCG’s wedding, and took an hour to stretch my legs with a short hike through a nature preserve. One of these days I’ll have to book lodgings and explore the historic seasport properly.
“Mystic Pizza” start Julia Roberts, to whom I was probably allergic even then. There are three ’80s Preppy Blond Jerks in the movie, including a young Matt Damon, who wears a rugby shirt:
His brother, Julia Robert’s love interest, wears a camel overcoat over a t-shirt in his first scene. You probably need to be rich and handsome and drive a Porsche to pull off that one. And check out his friend in the background, with jersey turtleneck under yellow flap-pocket oxford. I wore a turtle under a polo under a shawl cardigan today at the golf range, but that turtle under an oxford under a sportcoat is so ’80s Preppy Jerk I’m going to have to bust that out on the streets of Manhattan very soon.
Later, our Preppy Jerk Leading Man wears a pink buttondown and revolts against his stuffy WASP family in defense of his Portuguese-American paramour:
As for the top image, that’s preppy jerk number three. He’s a Yalie and comes across as Mr. Artsy Sensitive, yet turns out to be just like every other man. The girl, played by the adorable Annabelle Gish, learns the harsh life lesson that even guys who look through telescopes while listening to Mozart want to philander with the babysitter. The screenshot — with OCBD uneven in the back — was the focus of an early Ivy Style post from 2009.
“Mystic Pizza” has a 77% positive rating at Rotten Tomatoes and is worth both a first-time look as well as a revisit, whether you came of age in the ’80s or not. — CC