time my 3-year-old was home sick from school, I ran out of kids’ movies to
watch and wound up showing her a good chunk of "Dirty Dancing." I knew it wasn’t age-appropriate for my preschooler,
but the whole Penny-needs-an-abortion plot went right over head, and she
was totally riveted by the dance numbers. Bonus: Mom didn’t have to sit through "Beauty and the Beast" again.
I may have
to wait a few more years (or a decade), but here are 10 other memorable '80s movies
that I’m excited to share with my daughter:
day Romeo and Juliet story features hilarious lingo (Grody to the max!), a swoon-worthy
young Nicolas Cage and the greatest falling-in-love montage I’ve ever seen,
set to Modern English’s “I Melt With You.”
Positive message: Don’t do what your friends think you
should do. Follow your own heart.
Image via Atlantic Entertainment Group
2. "Sixteen Candles"
awkwardness of high school is perfectly captured in this John Hughes classic
about a 16th birthday gone wrong, then very right. Sure, there’s some casual racism I’d have to
explain away, but the rest of the movie holds up beautifully.
Positive message: The regular girl is just as worthy
of love as the prom queen, so be yourself.
Image via 20th Century Fox
3. "The Karate Kid"
I love a
good underdog story, especially one featuring the unforgettable friendship
between Ralph Macchio’s Daniel-san and his mysterious mentor, the karate master Mr.
Miyagi, who trains him to take down the high school bully.
Positive Message: Never give up! Hard work pays off
(wax on, wax off). Also, gotta love a
movie where the main girl’s sexiest outfit is a headband and cardigan.
Image via Columbia Pictures
4. "The Princess Bride"
fairy tale adventure is a timeless classic with all the elements a kid could
want: a beautiful princess, swashbuckling pirates, a gentle giant and Rodents
of Unusual Size. Not showing it to my
daughter would be inconceivable!
Positive Message: Be brave and have hope. Also,
trust your elders on their book recommendations—wasn’t Fred Savage glad he let
Peter Falk finish telling the story?
Image via MGM
5. "Adventures in Babysitting"
night in suburbia turns into a wild chase through the seedier parts of Chicago,
but the resourceful teenaged babysitter (Elizabeth Shue) gets the kids home
safe and sound like a boss.
Positive Message: When adversity strikes, keep calm
and carry on; you’re stronger than you know. Also, don’t f**k with the babysitter.
Image via Touchstone Pictures
6. "Can’t Buy Me Love"
he was McDreamy, young Patrick Dempsey stole my heart as the geek who risked it
all for a date with his dream girl. It’s
a teen comedy that brings laughs while exploring the true nature of
Positive message: Money and clothes aren’t nearly as
important as what’s inside. Just because
the cool kids start paying attention to you, don’t forget who your real friends
Image via Apollo Pictures
7. "Desperately Seeking Susan"
mistaken identity caper features great screwball comedy, covetable vintage
clothes and Madonna in her prime, before she got faux British.
Positive message: Girl power. And much like Elsa and Anna, the surprising
friendship between straight-laced Roberta (Rosanna Arquette) and wild child
Susan (Madonna) outshines the romantic relationships.
Image via MTV
A parody of '70s disaster movies that became a classic unto itself, "Airplane!" is a must-see
for any child of mine … because she needs to laugh on command when I say, “And don’t
call me Shirley.”
Positive message: Silliness conquers all. Win one for
Image via Paramount Pictures
9. "The Sure Thing"
If you can
get over the fact that John Cusack is basically driving cross country to have
casual sex, this road trip comedy is sweet, tender and hilarious. Plus, our hero picks bookish Daphne Zuniga
over stereotypical hottie Nicollette Sheridan in the end.
Positive message: Nice guys (and girls) don’t always
finish last. Real love comes from being attracted to the
whole person, not just looks.
I never get
tired of watching Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis bring it in
this side-splitting social satire. Might
have to wait a while to screen it, given all the cursing, hookers and boobs,
but I hope someday it will be our annual Christmas movie.
Positive message: Don’t make assumptions based on race
or social standing. And it wouldn’t kill you to learn something about the stock