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This American Life

November 14, 2010

American education through movies. It’s perfect, right? Foreigners need only watch quintessential American movies to learn about and be able to relate to our meaningful / meaningless American life.

And so when Hubster and I scroll through Netflix to pick movies, I jump at the chance to share with him the films that were an important part of my childhood. Some of them he’s seen. But I feel he might have a different perspective watching them now after living in the US for a few years.

Yesterday, we watched ‘Teen Wolf‘ from 1985, smack dab in the middle of the influential 80s. And Michael J. Fox, I mean, c’mon, he could save anything. After rewatching ‘Teen Wolf’ yesterday, I’m not so sure. Still, I giggled aloud a few times. A few other times I felt like Louis, the wolf’s friend who was freaked out by the whole wolf thing and couldn’t get on board with the wolf craze.

Thirty minutes after it ended, we were upstairs brushing our teeth before bed, and Hubster said, “that was really a horrible movie.” Some things just don’t hold up.

Another case in point – ‘So I married an Axe Murderer.’  This Mike Myers’ hit from 1993 was great at the time – a cult classic, maybe not a huge hit at the box office, but a funny, quirky movie. We watched it a few weeks ago and really, it was just not very good. Even Myers playing the role of his own mother and father in the film wasn’t all that impressive. After talking it up in advance, I was quite disappointed.

Ooh, another terrible one? Labyrinth. The acting was horrible. I could suspend disbelief for the cinematography, effects and all that. And there still was something creepily sexy about David Bowie, although it appeared he was smuggling chestnuts in his unitard. And the movie sucked.

The movie-revisit-letdowns have me thinking – would these movies still be funny today if I was watching with a different crowd? If I was to get together with some high-school friends to watch Teen Wolf and Karate Kid, would we love them because we could all related to it together. Am I missing the mark trying to share my 1980s self with my non-American Hubster of today?

Still, the next time we’re looking for a flick to watch, I’m fairly confident my nostalgia will kick in, and I’ll convince us both that we need to watch ’16 Candles.’ And I may even catch myself trying to explain to him the greatness of it. I might as well queue it up now, because I’m not kidding anyone.

11 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2010 07:36

    I tried to share the hilarity of Airplane with my Polish hubby. It was totally lost on him. You are not alone.


    • November 15, 2010 10:39

      Funny. The good news is that Hubster did enjoy and appreciate the humor of another fave, The Jerk. I was thrilled!


  2. Robin permalink
    November 15, 2010 09:19

    16 Candles was amazing. Robin and I agreed that “Jake” was hot. I never saw any of your other 3 listed.


    • November 15, 2010 10:41

      Wait @robin, YOU never saw Teen Wolf!? And you call yourself an American child of the 80s! You should be ashamed. The thought of watching it again does NOT excite me, but we may need to remedy this one day.


      • Robin permalink
        December 15, 2010 07:44

        Maybe Ella will like it.


  3. November 16, 2010 12:31

    I like to think that bad 80s films fit into my “so bad they’re good” category and I enjoy them just for how terrible they are. Rock on Teen Wolf!!


  4. beth permalink
    November 16, 2010 15:55

    hey abbe

    yes, watch sixteen candles! it is still funny after all these years! i still laugh out loud when i hear the words “long duck dong”

    have fun!


  5. Angelique permalink
    November 18, 2010 15:44

    Girl, Teen Wolf and Labyrinth are still amazing! They were part of our time and culture and I still love watching them whenever I can randomly catch them on tv. I recently watched The Karate Kid and still love it even though its cheesy and unrealistic. However, I’m not down with watching the remake. Funny, huh!?


    • November 18, 2010 19:06

      I will always remain true to Ralph Macchio, but JUST watched the new Karate Kid. Jaden is good, but it just didn’t have the same umph as the first one.


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