Is Malice one of the last films of the 1980s?
Strange question for a movie made in 1993, right? But no ... I think movies take a long, long time to get made, and they reflect what was in their creators' minds at the time of the creation. Easy to think that Malice was a product, literally, of the late 1980s.
What I saw was Yuppies. Doctors and Lawyers and College Deans. Big city apartments, waterfront houses on the point. That 80's hair and 80's clothes. Not a sighting of (soon to be de rigueur) flannel shirts to be seen. No beards. No trust fund or startup company kids starting grunge bands.
I also saw an "end of the 80's" message, tiny, a little veiled, but there. Let's get to that (and it is our tiny little spoiler). The 1980's was about conspicuous consumption, of stretching the limits of experience in everything, fine clothing, fine automobiles, interesting food, wine, drugs, etc. It didn't really matter how you got there, so long as you were a consumption machine, consuming the finest of everything ... you were "King of the 80's".
SPOILER ABOUT TO HAPPEN
So, just as 1987's Gordon Gekko said "Greed is Good" and we were starting to doubt that truth ... Bill Pullman's character let's slip a final nail in the 1980's Yuppie coffin. This is right at the end of the movie, where he needs some ice for a wound he received: "I'll have mine in a glass with some scotch...single malt, nothing blended. Blended whiskey is crap. Someone told me that once."
But the way he said, "Someone told me that once" comes off as very dismissive. It is said with a little tiny bit of derision. Enough to say, F the scotch, let's drink a Busch beer, jump in the mosh pit, and get the 1990's grunge scene rolling ...
Where Ordinary People (a 1980 film) is one of my early 1980's films, the transition from the 70's to the 80's ... Malice is now my transition to the 1990's film, or at least the last of the 1980's films.
I hope comments from you and others may improve upon my judgment here. I came of age in the 1980's, graduating high school in 1985, and the good and bad of that decade are really interesting to me ... especially as we become the rulers of the universe, for real, this time. Are we going to bring our bad or our good 1980's ideas with us?