This film released my junior year of High School. To most people my age this was film was 'our voice.'
Most people I know can tell you who they identified with in the film. They were either one of the leads or some combination of 2 maybe with just a hair of the third.
Most people also agree on one important fact. Ally Sheedy was hotter before they made her up at the end.
But watching the film I was especially struck by one passage.
"So this is it. We're going to turn into our parents?"
"When you grow up, your heart dies."
I suppose one has to understand that to get the motivation of the characters that they all pretty much come from actively abusive households. The only exception maybe being Claire who only has to deal with parents that seem to be adversaries... which in its own way is mental abuse.
I think there's an interesting psychological question of how abusive situations can occur and further how they manifest themselves on the children.
Alison hazards the rather scary sentiment that 'growing up' is akin to the death of the heart. Or maybe a perception that the opposite is the definition. When the parent seems to no longer have life or care... they've really become a 'grown up'
The movie opened a lot to me. My own 'teenage-angst.' The mental abuse of my parent. Looking at myself now as I go thru difficult times as I enter my 40s. Most importantly, being the best father in the universe for at least one child.
But I guess.. what I really have to remember is not to let my heart die.
I looked back at myself as part Brain part basket case. But like the end essay learned that each of them and their issues live within me.
I'm not perfect. I once told a friend in High School, I didn't want to be perfect. Perfect people scared me and it was probably for the best if we tried to get rid of them.
I want my child to be the best that he can be. But I don't want him to go mad, fear me, destroy himself or others in the process.
I just hope I don't do either. My hope is trying not to prove that Alison's perception; that "unavoidably.. I will turn in to my parents." Isn't true. And that at my core. I am and will always be my own person who can learn, grow, and be better than what came before me.
It's a stunning film. And I'm pleased that I can still find lessons in it that don't cheapen the experience.
I will do my best to afford my child (and those that may come after) a nurturing environment that will let him learn, grow, and be better than what came before him.