Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Our Adolescent Bad-Movie Loves

Posted By on February 28, 2012, 9:59 AM

We all did things in our youth that, in retrospect, mortify us. And that includes our artistic tastes. ---

In the summer of 1979, I was a suburban-Californian-verging-on-middle-schooler in an early adapter cable household. That included primitive premium-movie channels like Star Channel (which eventually became The Movie Channel), opening up a world of multiple-viewing options for a kid whose family didn't go out to the movies that much. While I was able to absorb classics like the Marx Brothers through other broadcast networks, I fulfilled my need to be hip -- or at least as hip as one could be watching movies that were a year out of theaters -- by watching Star Channel. And in the summer of 1979, that meant at least 20 viewings of Thank God It's Friday.

For those who are too young or otherwise blissfully unfamiliar with this film of the cinema, it was an ensemble comedy-drama about a bunch of Los Angelenos whose stories swirl around a hot new disco called "The Zoo." Historically, it's noteworthy for adding to the ranks of ghastly Academy Award winners for Best Song (Donna Summer's "Last Dance"), and for offering Debra Winger her big movie break. I remember exactly nothing else about it, for which I should thank the phenomenon of repressed traumatic memory.

There were other celluloid tragedies I devoured during approximately the same time frame -- and I can't possibly be alone. What movie that you watched repeatedly (and loved) in your youth do you now look back on with a shudder? Do you even remember what it was about the movie that made you keep watching, and have you seen it since those carefree days to get a clear picture of exactly why you were delusional? Share with us. It helps to talk about it.

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