Just read this article from Huffington Post called 10 Movies This Child of the 80s Wants Her Kids to Learn From and I LOVED IT! I’m not looking down the barrel of 40 like the author of the article, but I am definitely a child of the 80s. I am also the only child of two very over-protective parents, so if I wasn’t running around outside with a ragtag group of neighbourhood kids for safety, the parental unit preferred that I be indoors situated firmly in front of the box, watching whatever TV show or movie was appropriate for me at the time.
I loved that the article mentioned The Goonies, The Princess Bride and The Breakfast Club, three of my favourite movies of all time, because I took so much away from each of them. When you’re not allowed out a lot, you live in the make-believe world on the screen, and THANK GOD there was usually something great to watch. Television and movies now are still great, but TV now is a little bit harrowing for me. It takes a lot of emotion to sit through Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. Do we need debriefing sessions every time we finish an episode?
Anyway, I digress. I am a child of the 80s (and 90s), and like Allison Tate, I have very strong emotional connections to TV and film from that time. I’m so connected to them, that I think they’ve actually shaped my world view of how life was supposed to be and I am constantly being reminded that nope, life doesn’t always work like that. I don’t have kids of my own, but I’ve learned a lot from 80s pop culture! For example:
Everyone loves The Goonies because they were all different, they were such great friends, had that mad adventure together – without adult supervision – and did something great for Astoria (hahaha). The Goonies taught me that having an adventurous spirit was a cool thing coz cool stuff came out of it, and you got to have fun with your closest buddies. It also taught me that you need to have close buddies, otherwise you don’t get to do cool things. Real life equivalent was every time I went overseas looking for adventure.
By far and away my favourite all-time TV show, although set in the 90s, I was still a kid when it debuted here so I’m counting it. Like The Goonies, Friends taught me that your friends are your family, so be tight with them. It also made me appreciate – and someday try to replicate – the mismatched dining chairs look. Friends also made me see that having mates from all walks of life was a good thing, coz there’s so much comedy gold to be found in differences of opinion, like in the episode when Ross was getting really annoyed at everyone for humouring Phoebe’s belief that a missing cat was the reincarnation of her mother. Real life equivalent is that none of my longtime friends work in the same industry as me, so when we all get together to bitch about work, we all sympathise with the generic “tough day, huh?”, but don’t know the exact ins and outs of each other’s jobs. That was a bad example. But now one of my friends actually lives in New York, so maybe she’s the real live equivalent to a Friends character now?
High school was sooooooooooooo not fun for me, but even the guys from The Breakfast Club made detention look like it was worth it. I never had any life-affirming moments like they did in this movie when I was in high school, or maybe I did but I was too far up my own ass in self-pity and teen angst to recognise it. The Breakfast Club made me see that someone recognises cliques, and how being in one makes you a supreme a-hole, and how sometimes, for a brief time, you don’t have to be the label people put on you and you can just be friends with whoever you want to be friends with. I don’t have a real live equivalent for this movie, but I still love it because it was well written and is one of my favourite movies. Oh, wait, I do have a real life equivalent, because today I am a basket case.
You know sometimes you wish life were like the movies or like the lives of people on TV? I kind of half believed it would be! And now here I am staring down the barrel of not 40 but maaaaaaan, what a rude awakening I’m getting! :P