I loved the tribute to John Hughes on last night’s Academy Awards broadcast. As is the case with most people my age, I grew up watching Brat Pack movies. 16 Candles was my favorite, though the Breakfast Club was a close second. I have shared 16 Candles with my daughter and son and to my delight, they both loved it!
Here are a few more movies I enjoyed so much as a child or teen that I wanted my kids to see them too:
My Bodyguard (1980) Starring Chris Makepeace, Adam Baldwin and Matt Dillon. Classic story of nerdy new kid being harassed by school bully. Twist, nerdy new kid is smart and hires a personal bodyguard. There is a great moral to this story, something about not judging a book by its cover, I won’t go into all of that here, but suffice it to say, plenty of opportunity for discussion after viewing My Bodyguard. Watched this a few years ago with both kids and even though initially there was some resistance, in the end, they both really liked it.
Little Darlings (1980) Starring Kristi McNicol, Tatum O’Neal and Matt Dillon (detecting a pattern here?). Story of two teenage girls, one from the wrong side of the tracks, the other from presumably the right side, who make a bet to see who will lose their virginity first while attending summer camp. Tatum O’Neal’s character targets a very sexy and much older character played by Armand Assante, while Kristi McNicol’s goes after Randy, the bad boy from the camp across the lake, who is portrayed by Matt Dillon. Have to be honest, haven’t shared this one yet. I am sure I could (my daughter is 16) but something about the Tatum O’Neal character going after a grown man bothers me. Still it made my list–go figure. *I did not post or edit this video–so I cannot take credit for the comments at the end. And as you know, I’d never sign anything “Jenny.”*
Heaven Can Wait (1978) Starring Warren Beatty, Buck Henry, Julie Christie and James Mason. Warren Beatty plays a NFL quarterback whose life is snuffed out accidentally by an over-anxious angel. Beatty’s character was not supposed to die, so he is given a do-over in the body of a millionaire who just was just murdered by his wife and his accountant. The wife is played by a very funny Dyan Cannon and the accountant by an equally amusing, Charles Grodin. I still enjoy this movie, though not as much as it did when I was 11. My kids gave it two (four) thumbs down.
Ghostbusters (1984) Starring Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Sigorney Weaver. No recap needed here–right?
I loved Ghostbusters so much that for years after first watching it, I would look for a giant Stay Puft Marshmallow man to appear at the first sign of significant storm. I have almost managed to forget that they tried to ruin the memory of the original movie by doing a sequel. Word is that there will soon be a Ghostbusters 3. Pretty sure I won’t see it. Not surprisingly, my kids loved Ghostbusters.
And finally, a drama. And Justice for All (1979) Starring Al Pacino, Jack Warden and John Forsythe. Al Pacino plays a Baltimore defense attorney who is tired of the corruption ridden judicial system. His character is tested even more when he is forced to defend a judge he despises (played by John Forsythe) who has been charged with rape. The only levity is provided by Jack Warden’s character, also a judge, who has a death wish that he tries to carry out in a variety of humorous ways throughout the movie. I remember really loving this movie. Particularly the, “This whole court is out of order” scene. Bought it on DVD because I was sure my son would love it. He thought it was okay. Surprisingly, after watching it again I found it to be a bit dated. Bummer.
Honorable mentions: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)–loved by everyone in my house. Love at First Bite (1979)–daughter and friend watched this instead of scary movies during Halloween party, they loved it! Grease (1978)–Son has not seen this, daughter has watched it repeatedly. Weird Science (1985)–My son really enjoyed this.
Which movies have you already, or will you in the future, share with your kids?