Some classics just don't resonate with the next generation. We watched War Games with the kids last weekend, and I think my husband spent as much time pausing the film to answer questions as he did watching it.
In case you are of a different generation than I, War Games is a 1983 film starring Matthew Broderick as a teenage hacker who finds a back door into a military computer. He plays a computer game called Global Thermonuclear War and accidentally sets off a series of events that may result in World War III--the launching of nuclear weapons by both the US and Soviets.
Most of our kids' question were of the "what's that?" variety. Answers included: a rotary phone, a dot matrix printer, a modem, a non-windows-based computer, a phone booth (yes, it cost money!), the Soviet Union, and mutually assured destruction. Maybe we didn't quite get to the last, but that is the point of the film: "The only winning move is not to play."
Thirty years later (!), we parents still thought it was a great film with a suspenseful and exciting conclusion--will 70 million people be annihilated or not? I think the whole thing was lost on the kids.
I'm used to explaining old technology, but the movie caused me to think about how much else has changed since the end of the Cold War. Our greatest fear is not another superpower, and we no longer can rely on the theory of mutually assured destruction to prevent the launching of nuclear weapons.
It was a lot to think about on family movie night. The Karate Kid, Back to the Future, and Ghostbusters were a lot easier for everyone, including me.
Have any of you shared childhood favorite films with your kids? Have they held up? Any suggestions for our next movie night?