It’s almost like being a teenager again, but without the acne and social stigma

07 Oct

I recently decided that my children are now old enough to appreciate the genius of John Hughes.* After all, I adored his movies when I was a teenager. I have seen The Breakfast Club enough times to recite most of the scenes by heart. If they did Rocky Horror Picture Show-style renactments of this movie, I could totally play any one of those characters without a problem.

So naturally we started with The Breakfast Club. When I told the kids we were going to watch it, my son said a friend at school “loves old movies like these” and the Breakfast Club is a particular favorite. I was almost offended but then I did some quick math in my head and realized that the movies from my teenaged years are just as old now as movies from the 60s were when I was a kid. Then I wept silently for my lost youth.

My son is just about the right age to agree with the characters’ opinions of adults in general, and to feel just the right amount of angst to identify with them. My daughter is not quite 14 yet, so I figured she would find a couple of the references in the film a little awkward but would have a proper appreciation for most of the humor. I was almost spot-on in my predictions. Encouraged, I decided to continue the cinematic education.

We were going to watch Sixteen Candles next, but I couldn’t find my copy, so instead we watched Uncle Buck. The kids laughed most appreciatively, and my son declared Buck to be “totally awesome”. Of course I doubt he would feel the same if Buck were in charge of HIM, but that’s beside the point. The real lesson here is my kids were learning that Mom actually has some good movies in her arsenal. Damn straight.

The next day on my lunch break I purchased up a copy of Sixteen Candles for only $5 bucks. After watching this movie, my son declared that we should watch ALL the movies from when I was his age. That should keep us busy for a while, right?

So far the high point of our 80’s movie spree was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. The kids laughed so hard at one point that we had to stop the movie so they could calm down. It may not be as funny out of context, but here’s the bit that finally pushed my kids over the edge:

My son said “This is my new favorite movie EVER.” Not that I blame him; everyone loves Ferris. Well, except for his sister Jeannie, of course, but she doesn’t count.

I asked Facebook for suggestions of what movies from my teen years I should introduce them to next. The list of movies my friends suggested was pretty great, and I was pleased to say that my kids were already very familiar with the majority.** However, there were others on the list that I was embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even own. A discrepancy which will soon be remedied, thanks to the wonders of I have two more Hughes masterpieces on order, and delivery is expected this week.

In related news, I have recently picked up a side job cleaning my parents’ house. Which is the same job I had when I was a teenager, before I started working at Burger King. Except now I have car insurance, rent, and other bills to pay, plus two teenagers to feed. I guess that means I am now The Man.

What movies from your teenaged years would you consider essential viewing for teenagers?

* If you don’t know who John Hughes is, then I am extremely sad for you. Also, I’m sorry but I don’t think we can be friends anymore.

** The list includes:

  • Say Anything
  • Better Off Dead
  • Real Genius
  • Weird Science
  • Meatballs
  • Pretty In Pink
  • One Crazy Summer
  • War Games
  • Dead Poets Society
  • Revenge of the Nerds
  • The Outsiders
  • Mannequin
  • Ghostbusters
  • Top Secret
  • Gremlins
  • Airplane
  • Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  • Buckaroo Banzai
  • The Fifth Element
  • Pirates of Penzance
  • Romancing the Stone
  • The Great Outdoors
  • Big Trouble in Little China
  • The Lost Boys
  • Big
  • Already family favorites: Labyrinth, Princess Bride, Monty Python, everything ever made by Mel Brooks, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Back to The Future, Tron, Grosse Point Blank, Goonies, The Neverending Story, Flight of the Navigator, Adventures in Babysitting

Posted by on October 7, 2013 in Uncategorized


11 responses to “It’s almost like being a teenager again, but without the acne and social stigma

  1. Nichole H.

    October 7, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    I also love “Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead”.

    I still say “The dishes are done man!” in my stoner voice.

    • karifur

      October 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm

      YES! I love that one too. I regularly say “I’m right on top of that Rose!” When someone asks me to do something.

  2. fargojones

    October 7, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    Wife says: Dirty Dancing, and “oh, that one I just watched, and I loved it, the dinosaur one, and what’s his name – Send me an angel, oh oh oh! – you know, with the kid and what’s his name, Fred Savage?” Me: You mean, the Wizard? Her: Yes!

    • karifur

      October 8, 2013 at 9:17 am

      I don’t think they’re ready for Dirty Dancing. My son would think it’s boring and the sexuality would make my daughter uncomfortable. Maybe in a year or two.
      The dinosaur one… I’m guessing this is The Land Before Time?
      Now, the Wizard… I have to admit, even though I had a huge crush on Fred Savage as a kid and have seen most of his movies a ridiculous number of times, I don’t think I have even seen The Wizard myself. I don’t know how that’s even possible, but I have only a vague memory of something with a video game tournament or something? I probably should run out and get a copy right away.

      • fargojones

        October 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        The dinosaur one is also The Wizard – I think they have a pit stop at that place with the big dinosaurs, same place that Pee Wee Herman stopped at during his big adventure. And yes, the Wizard is basically a commercial for Mario Bros. 3, but with a plotline that includes having to win a video game tournament in order to prove he doesn’t need to be institutionalized – so a lot in common with Over the Top.

        Never seen Dirty Dancing myself, so cannot vouch for it.

      • karifur

        October 9, 2013 at 1:47 pm

        I went through a phase where Dirty Dancing was my favorite movie. Now it mostly just makes me alternately angry, uncomfortable, and bored. You will probably survive the rest of your life just fine without seeing it.

      • nicoleandmaggie

        October 16, 2013 at 7:42 pm

        My roommate before #2 on our blog LOVED dirty dancing and made me watch it, but all I could think (spoiler alert) was OMG your best friend almost dies from a back alley abortion so you are emotionally driven to have unprotected sex with a teenager? Made me feel sick then, makes me feel sick now. Coincidentally, this roommate’s pregnancy scare kept me straight and narrow in high school, at least for a while.

        She also really liked Casper. Odd what some people will watch on repeat. I like your list better, though we’re still in the goonies age range in casa grumpy.

  3. Jenel

    October 7, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    Short Circuit

    • karifur

      October 8, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Oh yes Short Circuit is a good one. We introduced them to that one last year. šŸ™‚

  4. karifur

    October 17, 2013 at 6:46 am

    I must admit, it did not occur to me to be disgusted by their actions in relation to the best friend’s situation. I was just plain grossed out by the age difference. Being young and naive I probably would have assumed they were taking all the necessary precautions.

  5. karifur

    October 17, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Oh and I liked Casper too. I thought the boy who played Casper as a human was cute. šŸ™‚


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