Like most folk trying to run away from the responsibility of ‘adulting’ I miss my youthful ignorance! The kind of heavenly bliss where my only stress was maths homework, the only tragedy in my life was Mufasa dying in The Lion King and the feeling of intense smugness blowing onto my Sega Mega Drive game cartridges when the screen got all messed up as if I was genius computer hacker. I loved watching shed loads of VHS movies my parents used to rent from our local video shop. Remember those?!
As I look back, exhale a nostalgic sigh and revisit the films I adored... I can't help but think that some movies were massively inappropriate for my fragile adolescent mind! I mean, most films from the 80s and 90s laugh in the face of political correctness, but there’s some classic cinema that with the gift of hindsight are really quite disturbing! Here are 10 great films where the subject matter was entirely lost on me.
Dirty Dancing - 1987
A classic film where I’m sure you and your mates have attempted ‘the lift’ on a drunken night out to soon realise that someone definitely needs an ambulance! It's a beautiful love story where girl meets boy, boy treats girl like a complete muppet, girl can't get enough because dickhead boys are super attractive, boy succumbs to girl's watermelon carrying abilities, girl's dad massively overreacts, boy says 'nobody puts baby in the corner', girl and boy live happily ever after! Oh, and did anyone else miss the whole ABORTION storyline??!! Like seriously... where did that come from?! Can we all not just dance and get along! At the time of watching this film I was all caught up in the romance and the flash of Patrick Swayze’s bum... and it was only years later I now understand why my parents went mental at me for watching it on my own!
Look Who's Talking - 1989
This movie starring John Travolta and Kirstie Alley with the voice of Bruce Willis is still such a brilliant film! I remember watching this and cracking up whilst being totally overwhelmed by the hilarity of a talking baby. This classic late 80s film was a simple comedy about a baby who can talk! Nothing else right?! It was only years later that the ‘funny talking tadpoles’ at the beginning of the film penetrating the woman’s egg finally made sense. Pennies. Dropped. Everywhere! Now my mother’s hysteria after I watched and fully enjoyed it makes sense!
The Lost Boys - 1987
This film actually ruined me as a child! Vampires were always terrifying to me (until I discovered Buffy the Vampire Slayer which deserves an entire blog dedicated to the amazingness!) I assumed this was just a film about adolescent vampiric tomfoolery until my best friend sent me this text:
“The head vampire is an older rich man; his vampires are all teenage eternally youthful boys and he tries to indoctrinate more boys and use their mum as his paedo vampire beard! Gross!”
Pretty Woman - 1990
Cinder-fucking-rella! I'm all about Julia Roberts. She is funny, ridiculously attractive and she made prostitution seem glamourous as if it was a real viable career path for me after I finished school. Roberts portrayal of a lady of the night seemed like a romantic fairy tale which let’s face it is very impressive. As a youth this movie was just a gorgeous love story of a red head who falls in love with a rich dude... the fact that she was a hooker went right over my head. Big mistake... huge!
Back to the Future - 1985
All kinds of crazy sexy cool! An 80s cult classic with a ridiculous plot but one of the best movies...ever! Trying to make my dad go 88 mph on the motorway in his 1992 Toyota Celica to see if time travel really is possible, still remains a fond memory of mine. This film had it all. Comedy, pathos, drama, a good looking cast and… incest! How many of us tried to pretend that the younger version of Marty’s mum somewhat aggressively trying to get in his pants wasn’t uncomfortable… at all.
They even share a kiss and yet my 10 year old self just figured that it was a comedic device to further the plot!
The Breakfast Club – 1985
This popular movie featuring some of the 80s iconic “Brat Pack” actors gives a giant middle finger to being socially, politically, racially and sexually sound. Watching it now always makes me audibly groan with distaste as it’s fairly shocking to hear the language like “faggot” being used as a playful curse word and scenes showing how the bad boy of the group continually sexually harasses one of the leading females of the group. At one point (after consistently mocking her for being a virgin) he goes under the table and puts his head in her crotch where she visibly squirms and resists, and then later he slut shames her! *face palm* How did this shit fly?!
Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back - 1980
For those unfamiliar with the plot, where the hell have you been?! I would like to think at the time of making this film George Lucas didn’t intend for Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia to be siblings… because incest is not best George! However, when I watched this as a child this glaringly obvious disturbance flew straight over my head. In fairness there is a lot going on in this movie so keeping up with who was tongue kissing who wasn’t my main concern.
Mrs Doubtfire – 1993
One of Robin Williams finest roles. For a film that is about a father who dresses up as a middle-aged woman in order to spend time with his kids (because his estranged wife is essentially a knob), Mrs Doubtfire still exuberates all the well-rehearsed cinematic tropes of a warm, well-rounded family drama. I went to see this at the cinema for a friend’s birthday and the scene where Robin Williams’ brother and ‘friend’ help him with his makeup didn’t register at all. In fairness it shouldn’t need to be highlighted so well done, but I never knew his brother and his ‘good pal’ were gay and married! The names Uncle Frank and Aunt Jack probably should have given that away!
Grease – 1978
This fantastic iconic film needs no intro because we’ve all sung our hearts out to the Grease mega mix on many an alcoholic induced night out. It’s a timeless classic where boy meets girl, guy acts like an asshole and girl changes everything about herself to be with him.
Yes, the message of this movie maybe something we probably would like to forget/sweep under the rug/set on fire along with Disney’s The Little Mermaid’s ideology on changing for a bloke BUT who initially missed the part where Rizzo thought she was pregnant? The entire time I believed she was just being extra moody because she was a bit of a bitch. But no no, she was dealing with a possible teenage pregnancy while everyone else was doing the friggin’ hand jive!
Big – 1988
Another fab film starring Tom Hanks that had idiots like me making wishes to grow up and have an amazingly unrealistic job playing with toys! The concept for the movie was great… until you realise that you’re championing the romance of 12-year-old boy and a 30-something year old woman. The sleepover scene where Susan acts like a sexual predator…? Yeah. That probably should have weirded me out way more than it did!