Rock of Ages’ eighties setting was clearly established by its unrelenting period soundtrack, egregious fashions, and towering hair. But just to make sure the film was a proper historical document, the filmmakers were careful to work in plenty of peripheral period props to really capture the era. Sleazy manager Paul drives while talking on a giant gray, brick-shaped cell phone, and later is seen turning a Rubik’s Cube. While working at a strip club, good-girl Sherrie is pawed by a Billy Zabka-like blond preppie wearing a polo shirt with an upturned collar. Wine coolers are sipped, Donkey Kong is played, people screw on air-hockey tables, Sherrie claims to be an aerobics instructor, and Mary J. Blige sports corn rows. But why did they stop there?
There are so many more go-to signifiers they could have stuffed into this film to make it the ultimate eighties nostalgia fest! And it wouldn’t have been very hard to organically work them into the story line: Look how easily we brainstormed some! (Minor spoilers follow for those of you who think that Rock of Ages’ plot is anything but an excuse to play music.)
Rolling Stone journalist Constance Sack keeps all her story notes in a Trapper Keeper.
When a character is revealed to be pregnant at the end, someone pins a “Baby on Board” sign to her back.
Rocker Stacee Jaxx can’t figure out why his monkey Hey Man is so cranky until a vet goes through his stool and finds an entire set of Trivial Pursuit pie pieces.
Someone is hospitalized with tracheal damage when they are actually gagged with a spoon.
In the actual movie, aspiring rocker Drew writes “Don’t Stop Believin’,” which in the real world came out six years prior. So why can’t Constance be writing Flowers in the Attic in between rock articles?
Jessie sinks even lower on the strip-club food chain, and is forced to do an animal act with Spuds McKenzie.
Stacee Jaxx hallucinates that he is being given a hygiene lecture by Garbage Pail Kids, and is outraged by the hypocrisy.
Stacee Jaxx gets hit on by three Muppet Babies.
Stacee Jaxx gets grinded on by Clara “Where’s the beef?” Peller.
Stacee Jaxx makes love to a Swatch Watch.
Sherrie and every other woman at the Bourbon Room sleeps with Pauly Shore, and try to shake off a nagging sense of impending regret.
Anyone else got any vintage ideas? Surely Joe Isuzu could have been worked into a musical number, right?