Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Secret Of My Success (Representation of the Yuppie)

This 1987 film 'The secret of my Success' starring Michael J. Fox represented the role and lifestyle of the typical 'yuppies' of New York City in the 1980's. The film centres on a young male character from Kansas who moves to New York to pursue a career, whilst climbing the social ladder. The film then highlights the reality that many young white, college men found at the time, just how difficult it was to even get a foot in the door, let alone climb the financial ladder. Fox finds it hard at first to get a job, until he uses his Uncle, to help get him started.
Eventually he is able to climb the financial ladder and takes over the company; however it is made clear that this wouldn't have happened if Fox had not changed his character. Posing as a different person with better experience and aspects, Fox secures himself a higher position at the same company. Brantley also then engages in an intimate relationship with the boss's wife, despite also liking another female character that also works for the company (Christie). However Christie is also having an affair with the boss and therefore the four characters are engaged in a complicated scenario that ironically works out better for Brantley at the end of the film. The laid-back, very relaxed approach that the film has on relationships such as this, was said to have correctly demonstrated the more casual nature that people in the 80's particularly 'yuppies' supposedly had at the time regarding relationships.

The film offers an elevated idea of the young successful yuppie, many people considered the film to be representative of the era, as well as being well regarded as a well portrayed, realistic perception. Writer Nathan Rabin stated in an article that;

‘The film posits its hero as a capitalist Clark Kent straight out of the heartland, who transforms into an economic Superman not through some strange trick of destiny, but through subterfuge and canny manipulation. Both Superman and Brantley Foster have double identities, but Brantley is mainly out to enrich himself, which represents an extremely 1980s, Ronald Reagan-inspired, Alex P. Keatonish conception of superheroism.’ However some also disagreed with the idea that the ‘yuppie’ era was good.Particularly their lifestyle will always be a contested subject, despite this the Yuppie generation did have a massive impact on the future decades of America.


1 comment: