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
Pizza is one of the three or four dishes I’m famous for among da’ ladeez. Here’s my simple recipe for you clueless bachelors who usually dial for Domino’s, or for you married guys who want to shock the wife by cooking for a change.
Garlic-flavored naan, the Indian flat bread
Pizza sauce (somehow different from pasta sauce, so make sure it’s for pizza)
Shredded mozzarella or Italian cheese blend
Pepper plus any other seasoning you have lying around
Some sort of good quality sausage with whatever flavor you like
The obvious veggies: peppers, mushroom, onions, spinach, basil, etc.
Preheat your oven, throw it all together, bake for 10 minutes or so, and in less than one side of a Sinatra album you’ve got a great dinner AND YOU DID IT YOURSELF.
Remember Tom Hanks’ pride when he made fire in “Castaway”? A small sliver of that is how you’ll feel making your own pizza rather than ordering in.
Any tips for those of us with vegan, gluten-free counterparts? My old lady won’t touch anything that came from an udder.
“the little grey cells” Sounds as though you may have seen or read a few Poirot stories. I recall an episode with a Saxo-Borussian style dueling backdrop which you would almost certainly find enjoyable. Captain Hastings always looked sharp. The Aston Martin was not a bad touch either. Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes, Poirot, Lord Peter Wimsey, and the Wooster stories were among the great television series of all time in my opinion. I Claudius too but for different reasons.
For better or worse, the turtleneck – LL Bean or Land’s End, often striped, fully up, never folded down – under the OCBD, under the navy or tweed jacket, was de rigueur for me and my classmates for the winters of ’85-’88. (the school allowed you to substitute a turtleneck for a tie between Jan-March)
Those of us who were brought up to believe that a gentleman does not show chest hair still wear a turtle neck with our OCBD.
I can’t bring myself to wear an ascot.
Caroline Langrishe in 1991 episode of Poirot’s The Mystery of the Spanish Chest in form fitting fencing uniform, sans mask, doing a swift fencing salute. Makes Poirot flinch. Hot stuff.
Speaking of turtlenecks, anyone remember those hideous dickies from the sixties.
I have worn jersey turtlenecks under heavy blazers and tweed sports coats, sometimes under flannel button downs and CPOs, but never under a BD dress shirt. That said, I get it.
This summer we stopped in Mystic on our way back from Cape Cod, it was a lovely little seaport town. If only I had seen the movie then, I would have made sure to try the pizza, the restaurant does exist. One thing in the movie that both confused and bothered me was when Charlie remarked that his father was a pipe fitter and had callouses to prove it. Thinking now, maybe it was a joke about how he didn’t have to work hard to get his money but he was deriding his son for not working hard.
One thing I noticed, quite a few Polo garments are worn in the film, including that yellow OCBD at the top and that pink one on Charlie.
The jerk with the turtleneck, OCBD, and coat needs his A– kicked.