28 July 2014

My Top 5 Coming of Age Movies

I woke up this morning feeling a bit nostalgic and spent 30 minutes reflecting upon the past. I'm still amazed at how we've gotten as far in life as we have with all the obstacles we faced in our early, formative years. I'm talking to you, the 80's crowd. We're now facing 2014. How's this for progress?

Fast Times (1982)

 Who doesn't remember first love, or rather first spurn? This movie doesn't discriminate. Guys, girls, they all get some form of enlightenment in this coming of age movie. Makes me cringe at times, especially when watching it for the first time with my grown kids, "Hey mom, why do they all sniff the paper like that?"

Mike Damone: I mean don't just walk in. You move across the room. And you don't talk to her. You use your face. You use your body. You use everything. That's what I do. I mean I just send out this vibe and I have personally found that women do respond. I mean, something happens.
Mark Ratner: Well, naturally something happens. I mean, you put the vibe out to 30 million chicks, something is gonna happen.
Mike Damone: That's the idea, Rat. That's the attitude.
Mark Ratner: The attitude?
Mike Damone: Yeah! The attitude dictates that you don't care whether she comes, stays, lays, or prays. I mean whatever happens, your toes are still tappin'. Now when you got that, then you have the attitude.

The Sure Thing (1985)

I had no idea this movie released before Better off Dead, which is the movie I recall being my first love for John Cusack. I was wrong. Either way, you should watch both! The Sure Thing isn't as much about my love for Cusack as it is about the complex relationship his character shares with Alison Bradbury, played by Daphne Zuniga.

Alison Bradbury: [checking her calendar] Let's see, Friday. 5:30, dinner. 6:00, Calculus. 7:00, news. 7:30, shower. 7:45, phone call. Eight o'clock?
Gib: [sarcastic] Gee, I don't know. That's when I rearrange my sock drawer.

St. Elmo's Fire (1985)

St. Elmo's Fire (for me) was the best "out of college" movie EVER! There's a scenario for every level of fresh out of college newbie life, and there's no holding back on reminders of how much it hurts to be a newbie college graduate. Welcome to  adulthood is the message in this movie, but it's a great ride and packs a load of fun.

 Kirby: She is the only evidence of God I have seen with the exception of the mysterious force that removes one sock from the dryer every time I do my laundry.
Kevin: Love, love, you know what love is? Love is an illusion created by lawyer types like yourself to perpetuate another illusion called marriage to create the reality of divorce and then the illusionary need for divorce lawyers.
Jules: I don't know why you're both so worried... So, I bop him for a couple of years, get his job when he gets his hands caught in the vault, do a black mink ad, retire in utter disgrace, then write a best seller and be a fabulous host on my own talk show...

About Last Night (1986)

Whether you've seen the 2014 remake of this movie or not, this 1986 original is a must see. Jim Belushi and Elizabeth Perkins do their supporting roles justice in the 1986 movie about a young couple making a life together despite friends who clearly have plans to sabotage the blossoming relationship. The remake has Kevin Hart and Regina Hall playing the same roles yet they are clearly better suited for their own star roles...in a different movie. Their presence butchered this lovely story-line. The over-acting in the support roles really put a damper on this newer version. Please watch the original and don't let this modern day race for remakes get you down.

Bernie: What do you do?
Joan: Me?
Bernie: Well, yeah for a living?
Joan: [sarcastic] I'm a neurosurgeon, you?
Bernie: I'm a prizefighter. Do you know much about boxing?
Joan: No...
Bernie: I'm the heavyweight champion of the world.

Shrimp on the Barbie (1990)

The theme is love and relationships, but a more substantive one. Rather than overcoming personal barriers and simple obstacles encountered with young love and establishing relationships, this storyline casts a wider net, incorporating social class and ethnic diversity. Cheech Marin has a dual role: the funny, lovable jester, and the supporting friend with a big heart.

Carlos: Hey, do you mind if I use that stick?
Alex: What stick?
Carlos: The one that's up your butt!
Carlos: You can get a lot of suckers to do this shit. I come all the way down to impress Bruce in front of daddy. I didn't come here to be insulted by these bigoted assholes!

These are older movies and though the content, setting, etc are clearly dated, the stories stick to core concepts and solid relationship struggles. Now I'm wondering. What movies stick out from your "coming of age" formative years?

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