Editor’s Note: This summer, Hulu’s taking you behind-the-scenes on some of your favorite films to explore how filmmakers use elements such as sound, cinematography, and lighting to tell powerful stories and create moments that are unforgettable. Welcome to Hulu Summer Film School.
This week we’re celebrating Costume and Set Design with a special guest post from Rookie Magazine staff writer Marie Lodi. Visit the Rookie Magazine website to read more awesome style posts from Marie!
Earth Girls Are Easy (1988) stars Geena Davis and Jeff Goldblum (who were also husband and wife at the time!), as a sweet Valley Girl manicurist and a hunky space alien who fall in love after his UFO crashes into her pool. Valerie (Geena) works at a beauty salon called “Curl Up and Dye,” which I always thought was the coolest name for a place to get one’s hair did. A quick Google search revealed that many other people must have thought the same, because salons from Las Vegas to Bakersfield to Texas operate under the same clever pun! When Valerie senses her fiancé losing interest, she enlists the help of her salon boss, Candy Pink (the iconic Julie Brown who also penned the film), which results in one of the funnest makeover montage scenes to exist. Though I MUST disagree with Candy’s insistence that blondes have more fun…
Makeovers were a recurring theme in the movie. The furry alien dudes needed to blend in with their newfound Earth surroundings so they went from this:
(Many of us whose first crush was Jeff Goldblum maaaay have been because of this movie, just sayin’.)
From the set design to the costumes, Earth Girls is a visual feast for those of us who embrace color in colossal amounts, both in our personal wardrobes and interior decor. Costume Designer Linda Bass and Production Designer Dennis Gassner made sure that both of their respective worlds were the perfect combo of pastels and geometric shapes. “80s does 50s” was a theme that was seen a lot during that time and it makes plenty of appearances in the film, from Valerie’s retro cotton candy-colored kitchen to her nosy neighbor’s sky-high beehive hairdo, to Candy’s black and white-striped miniskirt and crop top which she wears while belting out “Cause I’m a Blonde” with her gaggle of beach bunnies and bros.
Although the film was released over two decades ago, many of the characters’ outfits could probably be seen on fashion-loving Tumblrs today. Go on any trendy clothing site like Nasty Gal or Dolls Kill and you will more than likely will find a few outfits that could easily have been worn by Julie Brown’s Candy. The kitschy heart-shaped purse that Valerie carries? The credit card earrings on a female club extra? Both of those accessories could have 100 likes on Instagram today, at least!
Nail design has amassed unbelievable levels of popularity over the years so it’s fun to see closeups of 80s-style nail art in the salon scenes. Valerie would definitely have been referred to as a nail artist instead of a manicurist if EGAE came out today. The film also features a cameo from LA billboard queen, Angelyne, whose frequent sightings of her driving around in her still-there (but most likely a successor) pink camaro around town are almost considered a token of good luck to LA residents. Such dedication to a signature color should be applauded!
Earth Girls are Easy is no doubt the perfect movie for those who are obsessed with camp, color, and crazy costumes and sets. You can also see the early comedic stylings of Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans who played Goldbum’s extraterrestrial buddies! Even the film’s premiere had their cast in amazing outfits:
— Marie Lodi, Style Advice Columnist and Staff Writer for Rookie.
Visit the Hulu Summer Film School page to view Earth Girls are Easy (FOR FREE!) and learn more about Costume and Set Design.