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Make Way for Movies for Grown-Ups

My friends are gone and my hair is grey.

I ache in the places where I used to play.

-- Leonard Cohen, “Tower of Song” (1988)


I started to notice it right after I turned 30. (I don’t mean the stray grey hair or widening waist, although they too made their appearance.)

Channel surfing one weekend afternoon, I stumbled on The Breakfast Club (1985), and stayed there, as usual.

As a teenager, I saw that movie in its original theatrical run and sat through the closing credits in stunned silence, simultaneous feeling reassuringly understood and (therefore) eerily exposed and vulnerable.

That (almost) middle aged afternoon years later, though, unfamiliar thoughts started buzzing around my brain like hornets:

“'A thousand words' is only about four pages, guys."

“Hey, that statue cost money!”

And worst of all:

“This Mr. Vernon guy is making sense.”

It had never occurred to me that one day I’d stop automatically identifying with movie teenagers, and sympathize more with the exasperated adults in their orbit.

I felt sadder than any sane person should about something so trivial, but that epochal shift did come with one compensation:

I came to discover and appreciate new-to-me films I never, ever could have sat through, let alone appreciated, in my twenties or even thirties.

Are the Three Stooges your only foray into black & white?

Is Star Wars the oldest movie you've ever seen? I promise: it's taught you all it's ever will.

Put aside the pizza pockets for once, and try the escargot. It's time to acquire more sophisticated cinematic tastes.

Presenting the first in a series of “movies for grown-ups”...