Thursday, July 19, 2012

Which Eighties Movies Have Stood the Test of Time?

I read a great post on Facebook today.  Sandy, who has three kids, let her children watch an old movie.  The movie is a cartoon called "All Dogs Go to Heaven" and it was a movie that she remembered liking as a kid in 1989, only something was different now.  The movie sucks now.  On Facebook she commented on the horrible content of the movie, "All they do is smoke, drink, gamble, steal, murder and cheat!"  Long story short, she didn't enjoy it this time around and her kids didn't either.   They ended up having bad dreams about it later.

This strange movie amnesia happens all the time.  Sometimes it's the content I can't quite recall accurately, and most of the time it's the overall entertainment value that I remember wrong.  It's very embarrassing renting a movie that you remember loving when you were young, only to discover that it sort of sucks now.  I can never pinpoint the exact reason for my change of heart all these years later.  Am I just more mature now?  Do I really understand what's going on now?  Have I been spoiled by great modern movies with top of the line special effects?   There are so many shows that I thought I loved, that I don't dare to rent for my kids.  I just don't want to see some of them now and realize how bad they really are.  And I fear that my kids would reject Annie or the original Parent Trap just because they're old. 

In Sandy's case it sounds like she sees movies from a  mom's perspective now.  You don't want your kids getting their heads filled with garbage.  In 1989 Sandy was probably thrilled to see "bad" movie.  What kid didn't love seeing a movie that mom wouldn't approve of.  My cousin and I were obsessed with Dirty Dancing as kids.  Yes, the content is a bit racy, but a lot of it went over my head and we just loved it anyway.  Same with Grease.  I watched that movie a million times when I was a kid.  I had all the songs memorized, word for word.  I vividly recall watching it for the first time as an adult and I still loved it, but WOW were my eyes opened.  The blatant sexual undertone of the movie was suddenly so obvious.  Grease Lightening was a whole new song with my adult brain.  It's the exact same movie that I always loved, but it's all processed in a different way when you "get it".

Roughly ten years ago, Dave and I were at Blockbuster looking for  DVD when I saw the cover of a movie I really liked as a kid.  It was Drop Dead Fred.  The name was great when I was young, but as an adult I wondered if this movie might suck now.  I rented it, to Dave's complete and total horror and we watched it, or rather attempted to watch it.  I think we lasted thirty minutes and Dave said, enough was enough.  It was horrible.  I couldn't understand what had happened, but to this day my husband brings up Drop Dead Fred every time I try to recommend a movie to him.  "Is this Drop Dead Fred good, or have other adults said it's good too?"

Dave had an awful movie moment himself.  He insisted that we watch some horrible movie from the eighties that starred Dolph Lundgren.  Sadly, I agreed to watch it because I have a soft spot for Dolph ever since Rocky IV.  This movie bomb was WAY worse than my Drop Dead Fred.  Dave looked just as puzzled as I had when my movie turned out to be so dumb.   Our taste for what qualifies as entertainment evolves as we age.  There are still a few good movies that have stood the test of time, but most just aren't as good as you thought they were.

Movies that I still love:
1. Can't Buy Me Love
2. Back to the Future
3. Dirty Dancing
4. Goonies
5. Big
6. Uncle Buck
7. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
8. Breakfast Club
9. Quick Change (another Bill Murray classic)
10. Dumb and Dumber
11. Say Anything
12. Thelma and Louise
13. Splash (for my mom)
14. The Cutting Edge (this may be my all time favorite)
15. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
16. Girls Just Want to Have Fun
17. Real Genius
18. Footloose
19. Weird Science
20.  Sixteen Candles
21. Adventures in Babysitting
22. Top Gun
23. The Man in the Moon
24. Ghost Busters
25.  The Princess Bride

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