Thursday, October 15, 2009

Six childhood movies I still adore

Something special remains about movies I fell in love with in my youth. Even a film that could never be considered for any Academy Awards holds a power beyond its cinematography prowess when it represents the emotional state of a period of my life. Here are just a few titles that come to mind when I think of movies which have maintained that "classic" status for me, ones that I would not hesitate to watch over and over again.

In no particular order, and certainly not an exhaustive list...

1) The Cutting Edge. The glamour of figure skating. The thrill of forbidden flirtation. To this day my heart swells with unabashed joy when I picture D.B. Sweeney and Moira Kelly sharing that first kiss at the conclusion of their perilous winning performance. Cheesy, of course, but this was before I had seen 112 other movies with the same I-hate-you-but-now-I-love-you concept.

2. Dumb and Dumber. I still believe this is arguably one of the funniest movies ever made. There are so many classic lines that I continue to use on a regular basis. Tommy Boy has that similar place in my heart.

3. A League of their Own. Come on, this movie is so good! Star-studded ensemble cast, funny, touching, at least somewhat historically enlightening, and chock full of affirmative moral lessons. What more could a girl want? This is the way I want to remember Rosie O'Donnell.

4. Newsies. D U H. I'm willing to bet that I still have the soundtrack memorized, and still get twitterpated just thinking about those cuties.

5. Wild Hearts Can't be Broken. Another character-shaping movie featuring a strong female lead living any little girl's dream (performing with horses) who overcomes profound tragedy. You can watch the epic conclusion here.

6. The Chipmunk Adventure. I imagine this will be the most controversial selection on my list. There are several more "mainstream" animated films I also consider representative of my childhood, most notably Disney's The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and The Lion King. But there is a separate place in my heart for this one, perhaps partly because it is so obscure. Much like The Brave Little Toaster, which should also be on this list. I borrowed The Chipmunk Adventure on DVD for our road trip this summer, and was fully entertained singing along to the high-pitched songs of world adventure from the front seat while Madelyn enjoyed this classic from in the car.

On a final note, I know many peers of my generation would include The Princess Bride and Goonies on a list like this. But I didn't see those movies until I was in high school and college, respectively, so I don't consider them influential movies from my youth. In addition, while The Princess Bride earns its right as a highly celebrated, timeless classic, I did not enjoy Goonies nearly as thoroughly. That is a movie, like at least some on my list here, whose frame of reference and associated memories of the viewer lend more value than the movie itself.

What movies are on your list?


Bridget said...

I just KNEW Newsies would be on here. I was up in the middle of the night with Magdalena recently and I just watched Newsies clips with her the whole time. Classic.

Do you remember watching The Cutting Edge at Mikael's house back in the day? I watched it recently and there is a whole lot of innuendo going on in that movie that went right over my head when I was a kid.

Anonymous said...

I also loved The Cutting Edge. I fell in love with John Cussak watching The Journey of Natty Gann. Sixteen Candles was a forbidden treasure at a slumber-party I won't forget. We all gasped when Molly Ringwald said "...they f-ing forgot my birthday."


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