CONTAINS MINOR SPOILERS
Are the 1980s supposed to be The Decade That Taste Forgot? I like the eighties. Even though they weren't set then, some of my favourite movies come from that time - Blade Runner, Aliens. Though I've never been a big pop music fan, I've tipped my musical toe in the 1980s water and recently started discovering some songs of the era, and my current favourite "Clouds Across The Moon" dates from 1985. The eighties was when I started watching unhealthy amounts of films, so it's probably the decade that resonates with me more than others.
The Informers is set in 1984, a period of casual sex and drugs without apparent consequences, and is an ensemble piece stranding various characters and events together that intersect at various points in the manner of Short Cuts. A movie producer (Billy Bob Thornton) moving back with his wife (Kim Basinger) but knocking off a TV newsreader (Winona Ryder) on the side; a drugged-out rock star sleeping with underage groupies; teens in numerous sexual permutations....inevitably, of course, the spectre of AIDS is on the horizon. The one story that doesn't seem to fit has Mickey Rourke as a kidnapper; it's only tenuously connected to the rest of the film and could be dropped entirely.
It's hard to care about any of the characters in this movie, because they are all amoral, selfish, fundamentally unlikeable individuals, but they look fabulous: the 80s hair and dress and decor all look and feel right. It gains points for summoning up the period so well, but I just wish they'd given us a character or two actually worth caring about.