Virgin Viewing: ‘The Goonies’

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Virgin Viewing   The Goonies  thegooniesposter 490x668 jpgOne of the best things about doing this feature is that I’ve been able to catch up on pop culture references I was missing out on. And few movies are more beloved and quoted by my friends than The Goonies. Last week, when I watched Mary Poppins, I enjoyed the movie but figured that I would have liked it better had I watched it as a kid. With The Goonies I had the same fear: is it a movie you love because it’s just plain awesome, or is it a movie you love because it had major childhood nostalgia connected to it? Luckily, the answer is yes to both.

At first, watching The Goonies was just fun because I got to play the “which famous actor is that?” game. (Answers: Corey Feldman was much more charming as a kid, and Josh Brolin was unrecognizable to me.) But, like so many Steven Spielberg movies, The Goonies is for the young at heart as much as it is for the young. The characters were precocious without being bratty and funny without being cruel. That was a nice departure from current kids on TV, many of whom are more smart-mouthed than their parents and are more like adults in kid bodies than actual children. Despite the fact that I never stumbled on a pirate ship, there were plenty of things in The Goonies that reminded me of my own childhood – the smartass neighborhood kid who always had a way out of any predicament, the sense of adventure and joy, the dissimilar but connected group of friends. Sure, the villains were a bit cartoonish, and the kids each embodied a specific stereotype, but the underlying sense of exuberance made up for a lot. While it’s not the most intellectually challenging film I’ve ever seen, sometimes it’s okay just to have fun. And to do the Truffle Shuffle in the privacy of your own home.

Not that I, uh, did that.