Parental Guidance Suggests You Throw Me The Idol Then I'll Throw You The Whip
When a man approaches 40, he starts to take stock in his life. Great wife? Check. Four fabulous kids? Check. College degrees? Check and check. I also love my job, the websites I own, and my friends. Basically, I'm a happy guy. Another thing happens to a father as he gets older. He starts to wonder about the impact he's had on his kid's lives. Especially the oldest. Allie is 15 and the older I get and the older she gets, the sappiness I feel toward the inevitable day when she leaves the house grows. I might not look like the guy to get teared up over such things, but I can assure you it happens. With growing frequency.
Then I walk into her bedroom, and I see stuff like this.
Or, I catch her watching something like this:
Okay, I get it. Most teenage girls like One Direction and movies starring bad actors. Being young isn't an excuse to like crap though. Bad taste, left alone, grows out of control until you are a college freshman thinking Twilight is well written or that you'll find true love on The Bachelor. Not on my watch!
Thankfully, Allie isn't a lost cause. She's in honors classes with a 3.9 GPA. She borrows my Beatles box set from time to time. She loves Doctor Who and Les Miserables. Yet, her movie, ahem, cinema knowledge is poor. So the other day when I was thinking about how grown up my girl was becoming, I had an idea. I sat her down and said "Kid, there are things you need to know before you leave my house." She cut me off begging me to not give her the sex talk. "That's not what, I'm talking about! I need to teach you about movies that are important. Movies that are important to me and to America dammit!" I am pretty passionate about things that most people don't get worked up over, but if my kid gets married one day and hasn't seen The Godfather or Rocky, her future husband is gonna judge me. And damn right he should.
Surprisingly, Allie was up for the idea of a cinematic awakening. She's a Daddy's girl who likes to hang out with me even with her full social life (and my lack thereof). So we will watch a movie of my choosing every week or so, and hopefully she'll learn a thing or two about good movies along the way.
When I thought up the idea for Parental Guidance, I wanted to make an impact on my daughter's life via movie choices. Specifically, good movies. I browsed through my collection and started pulling out the classics. Movies that won Best Picture such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Platoon, and Unforgiven. The first movie choice was very important to keep Allie invested in this. She's a teenager. Give em five seconds, and they'll be Snapchatting with some weirdo in Iowa. As I was going shelf to shelf, I started gravitating toward great movies that while might not have won best picture, they were very good movies. Just as vital, these movies were very important to understanding my tastes when I was about her age. Within a few minutes, I made my choice and I was sure she would appreciate it. I think.
Once I set my sights on Raiders of the Lost Ark, it was a no brainer. I loved it when I was a kid and I still love it as an adult. Heck, it's even on the AFI's Top 100 Movies list if you find listing your movies to be important. However, I wasn't sure if Allie had seen it yet. Part of me really hoped she had and my fathering skills would be better than I thought.
Allie, have you ever heard of Raiders of the Lost Ark?Um, not really.
Geez kid. What about Indiana Jones?Oh yeah, there's that stunt show at Disney's Hollywood Studios about Indiana Jones.
I have failed as a father.
With that depressing bit of info out of the way, we scheduled our first movie night: Raiders of the Lost Ark. As part of Parental Guidance, I will ask Allie a few standard questions to just give you her frame of mind leading into the movie. Allie's responses will be bold italics because I'm a wild man like that. Let's get this started!
This article was first published on February 26, 2014 and was last updated on April 27, 2014.
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