I know for a fact that I’m not the only one, when asked what game I want to play, to respond with “How about a nice game of chess?” I look upon quoting dialog as an art form. I’ve even written about it in the past. In my world, it’s worked into every day conversation and when someone gets it….it’s golden. The problem comes in to play when the person you’re talking to doesn’t get it, or doesn’t know how to respond to it properly. This especially becomes a problem when the person you’re talking to is a kid. Your immediate thought is that the kid in question needs to be educated. Because really, isn’t it our job, as the adults in their life to be the teacher?
I don’t have kids of my own, but I have three nieces, one nephew and a pseudo-daughter that I’ve lived with and have helped raise since she was a about 18 months old. She’s grown up hearing all sorts of movie quotes, but never knew what the heck we were talking about so we, meaning her parents and I, decided it was time for her to get an education. She is, after all, almost 15. Which, when I think about it, is the age I was when some of these movies came out. We started a weekly tradition which we call Classic Cinema Sunday, and it all started with her parents and I calling out titles, while I frantically wrote them down in list form. Each week, we watch one and she has no idea, and really no say, in what it is. Since my HUG brethren will eventually be going through the same thing with their own children, I thought I’d share our list as well as our Classic Cinema experience thus far.
The movie that started this whole thing is Dirty Dancing, which happens to be her mom’s favorite movie. We call it her deer-in-the-headlights movie because whenever it’s on she stops doing whatever, and watches it. My deer-in-the-headlights movie is Jaws, but I’m weird that way. It’s also unfortunate because there is no way I’m going to be able to get the kid to watch. But I digress. It was after we watched Dirty Dancing, that I mentioned we needed a list. After about 10 minutes of frantic scribbling, this is what we came up with….for starters.
Due to the fact that she’s a teenage girl, the romantic aspect of this one won her over big time. She’s also a performer so the dancing was a hit too. There was also a fair amount of swooning involved as well.
Lesson learned: Nobody puts Baby in a corner. Also, pull a hand jive when you forget your moves.
Weird Science – Since we quote this movie more than any other, we felt it was time to introduce her to Gary, Wyatt, Lisa and most of all….Chet. The viewing resulted in her finally understanding what the heck we were talking about when we say “That’s not a joke. That’s a serious behavioral disorder!”
Lesson learned: Don’t forget to hook up the doll.
Indian Summer – This is a 90’s movie that holds fond memories, so we watched it. It’s more adult oriented, but she still loved it anyway.
Lesson learned: Things tend to look smaller as we get older. Also, everyone’s super secret Indian name is Thundering Cloud.
The Breakfast Club – While she did like it, this has been her least favorite so far. This movie spoke to my generation but not necessarily hers. That being said, she now understand all those Breakfast Club references that Shawn and Gus pull on Psych.
Lesson learned: Every teenager, no matter what social class they come from is dealing with some sort of angst. Also, it is possible to rig a guillotine in your locker.
Sixteen Candles – After working through the awkwardness of watching this with her parents (brief nudity, sex talk etc.) she let out a big AWWWWWWW at the end. Movie win!
Lesson learned: Never ever ever give your undies to a guy at school. Also, taking a handful of valium on your wedding day isn’t a great idea. Also, if your hair is caught in a door, just open the door.
Pretty in Pink – This is next on the list and will get watched this Sunday. I think it will be a hit with her, but I’m not sure where it’ll rank. I think I’ll start a ranking system for her so I can report back once we’re through the initial list.
The rest of the list is as follows:
- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
- The Outsiders
- Say Anything
- Better Off Dead
- Stand By Me
- Top Gun
- Footloose (the original)
I’m sure there are some I’m missing, and I’m sure that as time passes we’ll just keep adding to the list. The best part of this whole experience is seeing the recognition on her face when she hears something familiar, or sees an actor that she’s already familiar with. I tend to take things a step further and give her insight like the guy that was in this also played a part in that, or so and so directed this, yadda yadda yadda. You get the point.
I grew up with such a diverse taste in movies, and I want to pass that on to her as well. I’ve managed to inject some science fiction in there too, and even though it’s mainstream sci-fi, Star Trek, Star Wars, BSG, I’m most proud of her love for Dr. Who. I want her to be on the inside of the wink, wink, nudge, nudge when it comes to pop culture. And if I can get a giggle in here and there at her expense during those uncomfortable moments of these movies ….even better.
Even though I’ve seen these films countless times, there is something incredibly fulfilling about watching them with someone who’s never seen them. It’s almost like you’re experiencing it for the first time all over again, and that alone makes it worth it. You can’t recapture the magic of a first time viewing, but you can get close. I know my HeyUGuys brethren will do this with their kids and you should too. Since you’re here, on this site, you must love movies to some extent so make that list for your kid…..do it for Johnny.