Having just enjoyed watching The Goonies with my family last night, I find myself somewhat puzzled by a negative review I found at Rotten Tomatoes. According to this review, one needs to be a Generation Xer to like the movie: “it’s a clear case of you had to be there — and be between the ages of 6 and 16 — to understand its appeal.”
I was 23 when The Goonies came out, and by the time I actually saw the movie I was closer to 30. My husband introduced me to that movie along with many others I had never seen or even heard of, including a good many Disney movies. (He likes to say that I was culturally deprived.) I enjoyed it then, and I enjoyed it last night. I probably enjoyed it more last night, because being a mother gives me a different perspective on kids.
Each of the kids in the movie has some not-so-endearing characteristics – but don’t we all? When push comes to shove (that’s probably considered a trite phrase – but there is quite a bit of pushing and shoving, especially as the kids make their way through the tunnels), they look out for one another. They use a bit of foul language, but probably no more than is heard on the playground most days.
That same review calls the movie a “fascinating repository of ’80s pop culture.” This one also puzzles me, because I don’t remember noticing elements that would look particularly out of place in 2010. Maybe I’m just not that observant. Or maybe I wasn’t observant enough back in the 80’s. (Of course, I did find myself thinking that if the movie were made today, the kids would be carrying cell phones.)
I will agree with the review’s use of the word “overkill.” But that’s primarily a problem in a movie that takes itself seriously. The Goonies doesn’t, and the mixture of elements – Indiana Jones adventure, gadgets probably inspired by Inspector Gadget rather than James Bond, a treasure map and a pirate ship, two sets of thieves (the outlaw Fratellis, and the “legal” thieves foreclosing on the Goondocks properties), teen romance, eccentric characters, and more – just makes it all the more fun.
My husband suggested the movie to watch last night because our younger son is working on writing a story featuring a young hero who uses some surprising gadgets. (My favorite so far is the one disguised as a Gameboy.) I don’t know if Data’s gadgets gave our son any new ideas – he forgot to bring home his writing notebook today. What I didn’t know until after watching the movie is that this year is the 25th anniversary of the making of The Goonies.
I must not be part of the “cult following” of The Goonies if I didn’t know that. But if I lived in Oregon I would seriously consider going to the Goonies 25th Anniversary Event in Astoria. I think it would be a lot of fun to tour the filming locations used in the movie. At thegoonies.com I read that there will also be geocaching – what better way to celebrate a movie about a treasure hunt?
Since I live far from Oregon, and my “summer vacation” will most likely consist primarily of spending two nights at Webelos resident camp along with my son (one adult from the pack is expected to attend for every five boys, and as this will be my son’s first time at resident camp I thought it best to be there), I won’t be touring Astoria. But I will have to give some thought to doing some geocaching closer to home.