The problem with creating a series based solely on children’s reactions is that often, children do not want to participate in the things you’d like them to participate in. This poses a significant problem because as much as I’d like to continue forcing them to watch these classic movies with me, when I attempt such a thing, they retaliate by taking a vow of silence during whatever “boring ‘80s movie” I’ve chosen.
We’ve had far more fails in the film review department than I care to admit in the past few weeks. We didn’t even make it 20 minutes into The Breakfast Club before Lars straight-up walked away saying, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t with this movie. It’s so incredibly boring. I’ve played out an entire apocalyptic scenario in my brain where I’m the last person on Earth, and I turn into that old cat-dude on Logan’s Run. I’m going to leave now.”
Sophie, for once, agreed with her brother, saying, “Yeah, and it’s so unbelievable that a principal would speak to students like that.”
My response was weak as I yelled after them, “Yeah, well, this movie was made before teenager’s rights were invented, okay?!”
They ignored me. Because that’s their right — to ignore the dumb things their mother says when trying to stick up for the films she so loves.
So I’m sure you can understand the struggle of trying to find the perfect mix of action, humour, and timelessness when choosing a classic film to inflict upon my children.
Here enters Back to the Future.
(Once again, there will be spoilers — I shouldn’t have to keep telling you guys this, but I will because I am considerate like that.)
Marty McFly, played by Michael J Fox, is a 17-year-old high school student. He is besties with a mad scientist named Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd). I dunno, maybe Doc Brown shouldn’t be considered a mad scientist because it’s not like he’s conjuring up undead monsters or anything, but he does do some shady shit to get his time machine running. Also, he’s hanging around this kid that’s got to be like 50 years younger than him, which in turn ends up with Marty unwittingly travelling back in time 30 years — so I would say that’s grounds to be considered mad scientist behaviour.
Anyhoo, now that Marty is stuck 30 years in the past, he needs to figure out a way to power the time machine enough to get back to the present day. He locates Doc Brown (from the past, in the past), and they make a plan. Except that means that Marty must survive for a week in 1955, and guess who he runs into?
That’s right, his high-school-aged nerd dad and hot mom.
Things get pretty fucked up after that. So, let’s see what the classic film critics Lars and Sophie had to say about it.
My oh so hilarious son is referring to the classic clock opening in The Time Machine. Yes, Lars, this movie too is about time travel. Don’t you know that using clocks in a movie intro is a prerequisite when time travel is involved!
I had completely forgotten about this entire intro scene where Marty is at the doc’s house. I thought that the film started with Marty and Doc in the parking lot for some reason. So, this was a pleasant surprise.
Definitely not your dad. Also, I definitely never caught rides on side mirrors of trucks while wearing rollerblades.
Some people are so stupid.
*Both of them start singing along to Mr. Sandman when it starts to play*
He sang every word to the song perfectly. I’ve never listened to this song in his presence, which makes me believe he somehow sought it out himself. These children never cease to surprise me.
Technically, his mom wants to do it with him, but that’s only because she doesn’t know that he’s her kid from the future. I’m fairly certain that little tidbit of information would change things. Marty never macks on his own mother because he is aware the entire time that she’s his mother.
*Lars looks at Soph and me with a disgusted sort of stare*
To be fair, George McFly (Crispin Glover) is only creeping outside of Lorraine’s (Lea Thompson) window because he has a mega crush on her.
While Lars couldn’t shake off the mother-son dynamics of this flick, Sophie was having many an issue with George McFly’s antics.
Maybe it was all of Biff’s terrible actions combined, and that’s just when Marty’s dad decided to blow a gasket. Ever think of that, Miss Smarty Pants?
For the remainder of the film, the children were pretty entranced with the storyline (especially now that the will-they/won’t-they love affair of Marty and his mother was through).
The lightning scene had them screaming, jumping on the couch, declaring, “NOOOOOO!” when the initial plan failed and “YAAAAAAS!” When Doc Brown saves the day.
All things considered, I deem this classic movie night a success.
Lars has decided that they must begin rating the films I make them watch, which will be included in all subsequent articles.
L&S Rating for Back to the Future
Lars: 6.5 Mr. Sandmans out of 10 (reduced points for vomit-inducing mother-son canoodling)
Sophie: 8.5 out of 10 because she enjoyed how disgusted Lars got from this movie.
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This post was previously published on Fanfare.
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