Recently, my boys asked if they could watch a movie on Apple TV (same as Movies On Demand, only better). We scrolled through the Top Movies selection and they kept pleading to watch R-rated films like “Hangover 2″ and “Wedding Crashers.” I vetoed their choices immediately and tried to convince them to watch more family-oriented films, such as “Rio” and “Madagascar 3.” They refused.
So I tried to find a happy middle ground and thought about the movies I loved when I was their ages. Each time I found one of those “classics” from my youth, my kids would complain that they didn’t want to watch one of those “old” movies. To be clear, it’s not like I was trying to push “Gone With The Wind” on them or “The Wizard of Oz.” I’m talking about those hit movies from the 1970′s and 80′s that we went to see more than once in the theater, because it was before the days of renting movies or watching them on demand. We had to wait at least a year until the movie was shown on TV. Yeah, I’m that old. Movies such as these:
Rocky. Who didn’t love this movie? Even the violence in it was tolerable. The love story combined with the underdog boxer coming out on top made this one of my favorite movies of all time. “Adrian!” My boys took one look at the trailer and said, “Uch, no way!”
Saturday Night Fever. Yummy John Travolta, eons before anyone ever accused him of being gay. This was the first R-rated I ever saw, and as I recall, it was still pretty tame. I figured I would allow my tween and teen to watch it, with no ill-lasting effects. As soon as my boys saw Travolta’s white suit and heard the outdated Bee Gee’s music, they screamed at me to turn it off.
Grease. Another John Travolta movie where we swooned and sang along with him. My boys just didn’t understand the notion of a movie where people sang in it, unless it was Glee Live. Another movie knocked off their list in record time.
Arthur. I’m talking about the version with Dudley Moore. I remember laughing hysterically during this movie. Maybe it was the British accent that turned my boys off, but they gave that preview the big thumbs down.
GroundHog Day. Bill Murray plays the burnt out weatherman who wakes up on GroundHog day every day. What an ingenious concept. My boys’ opinion? Stupid and boring.
Believe it or not, I finally found two movies they agreed to watch. The first was Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Again, my failing memory thought this was appropriate. It mostly was, but there was a lot more cursing in it than I remembered. Of course, the foul language was the best part for my boys. Oh and the fact that he successfully skipped school without his parents knowing. What was I thinking??
The second movie they willingly watched was E.T. Little Dude was a bit frightened at first, because let’s face it, E.T. is kinda scary looking. I second-guessed my suggestion for them to watch this, but once E.T. started eating the Reese’s Pieces, Little Dude relaxed and knew he was a nice creature. I almost put Jaws on instead, but that movie made me stay out of the ocean for a long time. I reasoned I shouldn’t traumatize my kids just yet. Besides, there’s plenty of modern-day disaster movies that will give them nightmares.
I realized that I can’t accurately predict what will float my kids’ boat or not when it comes to classic films or even dated TV shows. A neighbor of mine once mentioned to me that she bought her kids the DVD boxed set of the five full seasons of “The Brady Bunch.” She claimed her kids loved it. No offense to her but her kids are a lot more sheltered than mine. Okay, I’ll just say it: She’s the most over-protective, strict mom ever. So, if her kids loved “The Brady Bunch” it was a pretty sure bet mine would hate it. Still, I went on Amazon and bought the DVDs and gifted them to my boys as a Christmas present, hoping to up the hype factor. I don’t know if it was the green shag rug cover the DVDs came in or the fact that six kids sharing a bathroom intrigued my boys, but they watched. And they watched. And they watched all five seasons again and again. I honestly think it was one of their favorite TV shows ever, ranking higher than even “Drake And Josh” or “The Fairly Oddparents.”
I came away from my boys’ “Brady Bunch” love-fest asking myself one very important question: Why don’t I have an Alice in my life? Mrs. Brady read magazines while Alice cooked dinner for 8 people! But, I digress…
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