Of the two, guess which of An Education or Goonies we watched for family movie night? Both had their merits, as well as drawbacks.
An Education is the Nick Hornby penned adaptation of a school memoir by Lynn Barber. It has great performances by Carey Mulligan in the lead, Peter Sarsgard as the older man with the shady past, and others. So it’s a surprise that a film full of good performances felt flat to me. Several montages, plus the classical music score that made obvious emotions even more so, made me lose interest in this mostly predictable film. Only OK, with some good bits about it.
The Goonies was my pick for family movie night after 4yo Guppy refused to watch Snow White. Why? “I hate princesses!”
“What about Princess Leia?” asked my husband G. Grod.
Guppy sighed. “_Disney_ princesses.” he said, as if this were obvious. While I’m thrilled to have raised a child averse to Disney princesses (could I have done this with a girl? do I have that kind of power?) I did want to watch our collector’s edition of Snow White. So we went to the video store as a family (because I cannot justify even the lowest level of Netflix given how many unwatched dvds, e.g., Snow White collector’s edition, we own), stood around, picked things, argued, ogled the candy, and all in all spent way more time than we’d planned to there. It was kind of nice; who does that anymore? But I suggested the Steven Spielberg produced, Richard Donner directed Goonies, because I knew it was a childhood favorite of G. Grod’s, and because I’d never seen it. The kids agreed.
The Goonies is an 80’s movie about eviction, rich kids vs. poor kids, pirate treasure, robbers, and a chained monster who lives underground. It’s kind of like an action/adventure middle-school version of The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire. There were a few scary bits beyond my boys’ comfort zone (a corpse and the monster, but the gunshots didn’t faze them), but it was mostly enjoyable for them. The biggest drawback for me was the bad language; these kids were dropping four-letter words like crazy. Nineteen “shits” and that doesn’t count various “asses” and others. While I did the same thing in middle school, it’s not behavior I want to highlight for my kids. In the end they really enjoyed it, so I count it as a win. If you do rent this, be sure to watch the Cyndi Lauper video on the extras. It is jaw-droppingly bizarre, as if a high-school tv class made a video on a Spielberg set that just happened to star Cyndi Lauper, pro wrestlers, and the Goonies kids. And Benihana chefs.