Back to the Future (1985) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
14Nov/101

Back to the Future (1985)

When Back to the Future came out in 1985, I was 4 years old. The main part of the story takes place in 1955, which is when my parents were 6 years old, and now when I watch the film 25 years later in 2010 my own daughter is 4 years old. Back to the Future has become a time capsule for 3 different generations in my family and finding a way for two of them to experience what life was like when their parents were younger.

I doubt that Robert Zemeckis originally made the film in the 80’s as a way for the Rinchiuso family to talk about what life was like when each of us was a kid, but maybe that's one of the reasons that the movie was so popular in the 80’s and today is seen as a classic. The movie was funny, zipped along to a nice little rhythm and was cast perfectly, but I also think the movie hit a nerve with people because I can’t think of a person who wouldn’t want to go back and hang out with one of their parents when they were the same age. If nothing else just to see if the struggles and accomplishments that the kid is making felt the same to the parent.

I would love to go back to 1985 and talk to my dad as a young father. I would ask him if he struggles with the same things that I do as a parent of a 4 year old. I would want to hear from him if he thinks all the sacrifices he made is worth it without the 25 years of history clouding his judgment. But most of all I would just like to see how my mom and dad were at this time, not from a 4 year old’s eyes but from a equal, knowing that times can be tough, but getting a hug from the kids makes everything worth while.

I also find Back to the Future to be funny on a totally different level then I did from when the movie first came out. I remember thinking when I was growing up that Marty McFly was the coolest guy around. He played guitar, skateboarded, didn’t let bullies pick on him and girls were falling over themselves for him (although he gets docked points in the ladies man category because one of the women was his mom).

Now, I look at the film and I still love Marty McFly, but you realize he is kind of a dork, he suffers from a bad case of short man’s syndrome and his relationship with Doc Brown is kind of weird and unexplained. Was McFly his lab assistant? Was Brown a friend of the family? How did the two of them get to know each other? Does McFly’s parents know about Doc Brown, and if so what do they think of him? These are questions that I have but never given an explanation for.

It is also amusing for anyone watching the movie in 2010 to have more in common with the 1955 people when talking to Marty than Marty himself. If Marty McFly walked into my house wearing the same clothes he did in the film, my four-year-old daughter would find it hysterical. She would think his jacket looked like a life vest (was that color and shape really ever in style?) and wouldn’t have any idea what he was talking about when asking for a Pepsi free. She would not find him dreamy because he can ride a skateboard because while skateboarding might still be popular, it isn’t what the “cool kids” do anymore and she would be confused by him always saying “heavy”.

What would be even funnier is if she could go back to 1985 and experience it for a few days like Marty experienced 1955. My daughter would be perplexed on how to call people while running errands. She would not understand why TVs, even the ones with cable only got 25-30 stations and on top of that, the only way to record her favorite shows would be on a thing called a VCR. She would find it strange that computers were huge, loud eyesores in a room that could barely do anything and a world without the Internet would depress her.

While somethings like Nintendo, McDonalds and Coke were still around to comfort her, the rest of the world would seem too alien for her to ever be comfortable. If she did go back to visit this time and told me about all the weird and strange things she encountered (lets hope she wouldn’t cross a Devo video, I don’t think she could handle it). I would not understand what the big deal was, because it was only 25 years ago and if I was around that time, it couldn’t have been THAT long ago. I bet my dad would have said the same thing to me if I traveled back in time to 1955 and told him of my fantastic journey. Right there shows me that, while I might not think time has passed by quickly, and I wouldn't need to get a car to 88 miles per hour, in Doc Browns famous words, “to see some serious shit”.

Posted by Ryan

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  1. I’m imagining some kid from the 80’s handing your daughter a Nintendo controller, then she starts waving it around like she’s trying to fend off a homeless man with a candy bar.


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