A Continuing Education Series…of sorts

My wife is 10 years younger than me. As we get older, that difference seems less and less like a thing. It probably helps that she is still way more mature than I am. I know this. She knows this. We work around it.

One area that does still top show itself however, is when I reference or quote a movie she has never seen. Some of that is the age difference, and some of that is simply my overexposure to an abundance of movies and her underexposure. As soon as I had my license, I was at the theater at least once a week. I was also the king of the Five Movies For Five Nights For $5 dead at my local VHS spot. Then, I am pretty sure my Netflix account number was something like 12. According to Sarah, it was pretty much Disney, Rocky and Eastwood on repeat in her household.

For a few years. I always joked about getting a chalkboard and writing down the movies she still needs to see, the ones I still quote from my childhood and college years. A few weeks ago, I finally actually pulled the trigger and started a virtual chalkboard in my task list app on my phone.

Sarah and I both usually work evenings and weekends nearly year round, so we don’t actually get many evenings to sit down and watch old movies together.


For the past week, I’ve been forcing her to sit on the couch with me and work her way through my list. It started with Johnny Be Good, from 1988. Anthony Michael Hall, Robert Downey Jr., Uma Thurman. High school football (maybe I needed a sports fix). “Coach, I think I broke my dick.” “Oh no, not his George.” How this classic only has a 30% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond me.

Plus, this fantastic pregame speech to open this movie.

We followed up a couple nights later with Vision Quest, from 1985, one of my favorite sports movies ever. Every time I hear Lunatic Fringe, I want to do pushups.

It is easily the best movie ever made about high school wrestling. Mostly, because the only other one made was Lorenzo Lamas’ Takedown, which I don’t think ever made it to DVD or the interwebs. If I thought I could find that one, I’d add it to the list too.

Sarah couldn’t quite get past the coach wearing a wrestling singlet and a polo for practice. There goes my next date night plans. Immediately after Louden gets the win, Sarah says to me “The 80s were just weird.” Not impressed, I guess. Also, not wrong.

Anyway, this speech is worth the movie alone, let alone all the other great stuff.

After starting with the 80, we went a little more modern. With Bad Boys For Life actually getting decent reviews, I would kind of like to see it soon. Sarah never saw the first two, so we dove into the Bruckheimer/Bay documentary world with both of these over the weekend. I had not rewatched either one in quite some time. I had kind of forgotten how much Martin Lawrence carried the first one and how much Will Smith had improved by the second one. Plus, I’ll take Gabrielle Union over Tea Leoni any day. Of course, having said that, I’m well aware Bring It On probably just made Sarah’s list for me to watch.

Oh well, watcha gonna do…

Sunday night, we continued with another Bruckheimer/Bay documentary. A little flick called The Rock. Sarah was disappointed this had nothing to do with Dwayne Johnson. And my mancrush on Sean Connery is apparently bigger than Sarah’s. This movie came out the year I graduated high school. Sarah likes to remind me she was still playing with Barbies then. This movie is Nicholas Cage when we was only a little weird.

This little bit from a review on AV Club pretty much sums it up.

In many ways, The Rock was a world-historical studio clusterfuck, and it’s a minor miracle that it’s worth a shit at all. This was one of those movies where the various screenwriters immediately went into arbitration against one another to decide who would get credit for what. A small army of script doctors (including, incredibly, Aaron Sorkin and Quentin Tarantino, both uncredited) worked on the movie while it was in production. Co-producer Don Simpson, coming to the end of a legendary party-life run, dropped dead of a cocaine-and-prescription drug overdose five months before the movie opened. And at the center of all of it was Bay, a man who still hasn’t told a cohesive story in his decades-long career. Somehow, The Rock was the closest he’s ever come.

So yeah, I love it.

Which brings us back to another cheesy pairing in our latest installment tonight: Point Break. The original. Not that awful remake I managed to avoid.

Early Keanu, a bleach-blonde Patrick Swayze. An only slightly-coked-out looking Gary Busey. “I’m an Ef Bee Eye Agent!” Johnny F’n Utah.

I just hope Johnny someday ran into Jackie Nevada from the Elmore Leonard world and they made some beautiful counties together.

Up Next

I’m trying to grow my Sarah Chalkboard list organically. Instead of sitting and thinking of movies she probably hasn’t seen, I am just going to keep a running list in my app as they come up naturally, if she has not seen them. Since 70 percent of my conversation ability is just me quoting random movies, this may help her understand me a little better. Whether or not that is a good thing is an entirely different debate.

Still currently in the list: Wall Street, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Memento and Swordfish. There are lots more to go, but I refuse to actually plan this out. That’s just not my style.

She is going to hate me by the time the world returns to normal.


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