A favorite family activity in my house is “Family Movie Night.” It’s a wonderful opportunity for us to pop some popcorn, snuggle up together, and have fun as a family. Let’s be perfectly honest though – it’s 20% about family bonding and 80% about being able to recline on the couch while my children are awake.
Another perk of movie night is that, thanks to our rule that the movie has to be one that
we my children have never seen before, we get a break from watching the latest American Girl movie for the 37th time. Now, not only do we get to recline, we also get to rewatch all of our favorite 80s movies. Back to the Future, Big, Spaceballs – these movies defined my youth and movie nights allow me the chance to step back in time and relive the magic that delighted and thrilled me as a child. They also helped me realize how epically effed up 80s kids films are.
My children love watching these 80s films, but I can’t tell you how often I’ve wondered if all of my neurosis are a direct result of viewing these films in my formative years. On many movie nights I wonder if, someday, my children will sit in their therapists offices and recall the time they were 5 and 3 years old respectively and their parents sat them down to watch Princess Leia, wearing nothing but a gold bikini, chained up by Jabba the Hut.
The film that seems to have resonated with my kids the most is one that was a most treasured favorite of mine: Goonies. The tale of a group of kids finding pirate treasure – foiling a crime family and saving their town along the way – basically blew my mind as a child. After watching Goonies, rainy days turned into attempts to break into the attic and hours of rummaging through old boxes in the basement in the hopes of finding a treasure map. As an adult, Goonies has just left me with a lot of questions, the least of which is why I didn’t know they used the word “shit” roughly 80 times in this children’s film.
Coincidentally, none of my questions in regard to Goonies has anything to do with the fantastical elements of the kids’ actual quest to find One-Eyed Willy. Instead, most of my bewilderment is a result of the more mundane and “realistic” plot points of this film, none of which I ever questioned in my youth.
The following is a list of the 25 questions I had while watching Goonies as an adult. I suggest you re-watch it with your kids (I swear they won’t repeat any of the bad words afterward) and see what I am talking about.
- Whose idea was it to begin a children’s movie with a man hanging in a cell?
- No one notices that a man is pouring gasoline all over the entrance to the county jail? Isn’t that the kind of place that would typically be heavily guarded?
- If their house is being demolished in 48 hours, why hasn’t anyone started packing yet?
- Why is the mom letting her able-bodied sons hang out and watch music videos instead of helping her pack?
- Does Rosalita seriously believe everything that Mouth is saying? Like, instead of suspecting that this is just a 12-year-old punk messing with her, she chooses to believe that the attic is full of sexual torture devices, and that this kid knows about them?
- If she really does believe that she’s about to get involved with drug trafficking and that there’s a chance they are going to lock her up in a cockroach infested closet, is she that hard-up for cash that she’s willing to stay?
- Why is Mikey’s mom so calm about Data destroying the door, but freaks out by the sight of potato chips on the floor?
- Wouldn’t the museum have asked for all of their artifacts back long before this scheduled demolition?
- If Mikey wanted to get the map out of the frame, why didn’t he just drop it onto the floor himself? Why does he need Chunk to do his dirty work for him?
- What kind of Spanish classes is Mouth taking? How does he know how to translate 17th century pirate dialect? Who is teaching this kid the Spanish word for “ye”?
- Why aren’t the Fratellis getting out of town?
- Wouldn’t there be a lot more police presence in the area after a jail break?
- Why would Mama Fratelli let Mikey use the bathroom? I mean, even if it was an emergency, doesn’t she seem like the type of lady who would just let a kid pee his pants?
- Why are they feeding Sloth giant portions of slop? When it comes to slop, isn’t a reasonable portion enough?
- I realize Troy and his cronies probably like their girls svelte, but, when pulling up the well’s bucket, did they really confuse the weight of a letterman’s jacket with the weight of Andy, a teenage girl?
- Whose idea was it to have a major character of a light-hearted children’s adventure film be a man who has physical abnormalities and developmental delays caused by the abuse inflicted on him by his own mother when he was an infant? How did that play out in the pre-production meetings?
- Nobody in Astoria has ever wondered where the hole in the seaside rocks led to? In three hundred years, no small kid ever wandered in there and discovered a giant lagoon with a pirate ship?
- Did Chunk’s family stop on the way to see their child – who has been missing for 24 hours – in order to get pizza?
- While it’s a nice gesture to offer Sloth some free room and board, shouldn’t Chunk run that idea by his parents before extending the invitation?
- Why does Troy’s dad drag him to all of these business deals?
- Are Mouth and Stef getting together here? Isn’t he a lot younger than her?
- If Rosalita’s knowledge of English truly is as poor as we have been led to believe, how does she know what the father is about to sign?
- After being treated so poorly by everyone, why does Rosalita even give the jewels to the family? I mean, I think we’ve established that she needs the money.
- Why does everyone assume that the Goonies get to keep the jewels? Wouldn’t they belong to a museum? At the very least, wouldn’t they be tied up in litigation for years?
- What octopus??? This is the one question I actually did have as a child, and it remains. Seriously – they talk about how scary the octopus was, but there never was an octopus! As a child, this was a great mystery. As an adult, I know this scene was cut, but now just wonder why the editors allowed this flub.
Regardless of these questions, Goonies will forever be a beloved classic, one that I am glad is in heavy rotation at my house. Because Corey Feldman yelling shit is, in my humble opinion, way less offensive than Caillou’s whining.