Looking back, adolescence is the defining era in our lives. It the stage that starts us on the path, for better or for worse, to adulthood.
The Wonder Years, premiered 30 years ago today. In the late 1960’s, Kevin Arnold (Fred Savage) is on the verge of his teenage years. Layered into the narrative is the memories of Kevin as adult (Daniel Stern) told via voice over. As Kevin grows up and the late 1960’s turns into early 1970’s, he experiences the joys and heartaches of young adulthood with his best friends Paul (Josh Saviano) and Winnie (Danica McKellar), who is his first crush/first kiss/first romantic everything.
What makes The Wonder Years stand out and still holds a place in the hearts of the television audience thirty years later is that Kevin’s experience is incredibly universal. Everything he went through, we all have gone through or will through. That is why we are still talking about this show 30 years later.
At a certain point in our lives, many of us start to question our life choices. That usually happens when middle age starts to creep upon us.
In the 1991 movie, City Slickers, Mitch (Billy Crystal) is a New Yorker facing a mid-life crisis. His 40th birthday is approaching fast and his career feels empty. To combat the onset of a mid-life crisis, Mitch and his friends, Ed (Bruno Kirby) and Phil (Daniel Stern) decide the antidote is a two-week long cattle drive across the American southwest. One of the cowboys, Curly (Jack Palance) shares not only his experience as a cowboy, but in life.
There is a universal element to this film. Many of us reach a point in our lives and start to question if we have made the right choices and if there is still time to make the changes we keep thinking about making.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
There is something about your favorite holiday movie. You’ve seen it an untold number of times over the years. You can easily quote the screenplay and you know the in jokes that only a super fan knows.
Twenty four years ago, a little holiday movie made it’s debut in movie theaters. It was the story of a young boy who is left home on Christmas and must protect his house from burglars. That movie is Home Alone.
Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is the youngest child of loud and rowdy family. After getting into another fight with his older brother, Buzz (Devin Ratray) Kevin is sent to the attic to sleep. The next morning, Kevin wakes up to find the house empty. The electricity shorted the night before, causing the family to nearly miss their flight to Paris for vacation. In their rush to get to the airport, Kevin was forgotten about. The first few days of being alone is bliss, until Kevin must defend his house from Marv (Daniel Stern) and Harry (Joe Pesci) a couple of burglars who are looking to take advantage of the empty houses.
This movie is a classic. It is the story of brains over brawns, youth vs. adults. It also reflects the craziness that many of us go through during December and what is really important this time of year.
Two years later, the audience was back in Kevin’s life. In Home Alone 2 (1992), the McCallisters are again getting ready for Christmas vacation. They prepare the night before, make sure they are packed and have the alarms set. And yet again, chaos ensues when the family nearly misses the flight. Kevin is with his family, but this time they get separated at the airport. Kevin gets on a plane to New York City and his family goes elsewhere. Armed with his father’s credit card and plenty of cash, the city is his playground. That is until Harry and Marv show up and Kevin must again defend himself from the duo.
As sequels go, this movie is not that bad. Though anyone who knows New York City will tell you that the geography of Manhattan is not 100% accurate in this movie. But that’s ok.
I recommend both. Happy Holidays!