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My Teen Son Hated Movies Until He Liked Girls

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My young movie-hater finally found something to attract him to the cineplex ....

teenagers watching movie

Sarah Bowman: My 14-year-old is a TV-lover, and doesn't care if he ever sits in front of a giant screen for the full-Dolby-sound multiplex movie experience. I lived for movies growing up; for me, it didn't get better than Red Vines and popcorn and movie stars like Tom Cruise or Harrison Ford. (I'm talking about the old days here.) But my boy hasn't cared about the big screen since Robert Downey, Jr. put on his tin cans in "Iron Man." Okay, Megan Fox got my son to shell out a few dollars for "Transformers," but he was later annoyed that he'd had to spend money on a film he didn't really like -- and one that was "way too long".

Fancying myself a pretty good judge of movies, I raised my son on classics. I periodically try to lure him to the multiplex when something of worth comes along, offering to buy seats (and treats) for his friends and putting on my chauffeur hat for the evening. Nine times out of ten, though, he'd rather hang at home . "Avatar" was the exception to that rule, but even then he wasn't eager to see it more than once.

Suddenly, last weekend he wanted to be dropped at the mall with his friends. Coincidentally, I'd given him a mini-lecture on Martin Scorsese on the way to school that morning, as Scorsese's Leonardo DiCaprio film was being released that day. But I've waxed poetic enough times while driving (only to turn around and realize that my son had been listening to his iPod, not me) to think that he had decided to bring all his friends to "Shutter Island" because his mother thought it would be keen.

But then I realized that what was on the screen was not what was attracting him. I dropped him and two buddies at the valet stand and there, waiting at the top of the stairs, was a bunch of wriggly teenage girls. That was my "aha moment": seeing a pretty, brown-hair-swinging girl flocking to my son's side. Within seconds, the group had disappeared around the corner -- but not before I got a glimpse of my son facing sideways to gesticulate about something as brown-hair-swinging girl beamed back into his face.

Imagine my shock when, after the film let out, I started getting texts about how "awesome" the film was. He loved it -- scares and chill factor and all. So, I have to ask myself: Was it the quality of the film that had turned him into a cineaste? Or was it sitting next to a beautiful girl who needed to grab his arm every fifteen minutes? I'll just have to wait until the next worthy thriller comes along to find out.

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3 comments so far | Post a comment now
Mike Kelly March 5, 2010, 2:31 PM

Great post Sarah…glad to hear Red Vines are part of those great memories from your childhood.


adelaide dancing March 5, 2010, 5:06 PM

it’s funny because it’s true, cinema is all about social connection, we all have a need for belonging and connection

babecreek December 11, 2010, 6:30 AM

Not sure whether to laugh or be sad about this, very true though.

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