Back to the Future

Friday night has somehow become “Pizza Night” in our house – a lazy reward of sorts for making it to the end of the week. It started some time ago, when some friends of ours would regularly visit for the evening – we took turns buying the pizzas, I cooked them, and we hung out in the lounge with a couple of bottles of wine, a table full of pizza, and a terrible movie to talk over the top of.

The best/worst movie we ever saw during that time? Almost certainly “Balls of Fury” – a bizarre low-budget mash-up of table-tennis and karate.

Somehow the pizza and movie nights morphed from a night with a friends to a night with the children. I guess they grew up, their bedtime became later, and the night became theirs to spend with us, instead of ours to spend with our friends.

The pizzas changed too – my other half now makes the pizzas from scratch, rather than buying them from the supermarket. We began doing this so Miss 17 didn’t feel like the odd-one-out. She has coeliac disease, so can’t go anywhere near anything with gluten in it. In a strange way her dietary restrictions cause her to almost certainly have the best diet of any of her circle of friends – almost all of her food at home is cooked from fresh ingredients, and while eating out, she invariably has to choose the more healthy options on a menu.

Anyway – finally getting back to the title of the post – last night we sat down with the children, and picked “Back to the Future” as a family movie. The younger children had never seen it. Fingers crossed.

It always surprises me how powerful formerly inconsequential scenes in movies become once you’re a parent, and in the presence of your children watching the same movie. The scenes where George McFly finally stood up against Biff had everybody on the edge of their seats, and caused Miss 13 (always the least able to contain herself) to exclaim out-loud “YESSS! IT’S ON!”.

You know the most perplexing thing though? Five minutes later – during the closing scenes of the movie where Marty returns home, and Doc Brown returns from the future? Miss 13 got up and left the room.

“Where are you going?”

“I’ve got stuff to do. It’s boring now anyway.”

I implored with her to watch the final minute of the movie – to see Doc Brown return, but she flatly refused and ran up to her room to watch YouTube on her phone. What the hell? Is this really what social media has done to teenagers? Can they really not be unplugged from idiots half-killing themselves or making an idiot of themselves for more than an hour? I saw the same thing happen at the cinema when we went to see “The Last Jedi” – the teenage daughter of our friends complained quietly to her Mum throughout the second half of the movie – asking how much longer it was on for.

I guess half the reason I struggle to understand is because I will generally find something of interest in anything. If given the choice I will find original, or different movies to watch than everybody else – it’s how I discovered “Mistress America”, “Flakes”, “Begin Again”, and “Falling Uphill”. I tend to like quiet movies about people.

Anyway. It’s Saturday. The washing machine and tumble dryer are rumbling away in the background, and I’m wondering about throwing a few more boxes back in the attic – the remainder of the Christmas decorations that have not been stored yet. Maybe I should grab some lunch first.

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