When Movies Take Flight

Family movie night seems like a great idea, until forty-five minutes later we’re still searching for a title that everyone can agree on. It’s a race before it becomes too late to even start a movie. What begins as a family activity ends in argument and frustration. Instead of finding a movie, we end up watching ninety minutes of trailers each dead-ending in discord.

How can there be so many titles, genres, viewing options and yet nothing to watch? We subscribe to Comcast, Netflix, Apple TV and Amazon. Billions of titles just waiting to be set free by our credit card digits and still nothing. Is our family demographic so unique that Hollywood can’t lob a few flicks in our direction?

Our oldest son is thirteen. He’s in seventh grade and has peeked under the veil of parental guidance. Friends, Youtube and unsupervised free time have revealed episodes of South Park. “What?!? NOOOOOOOOoooooooo. Queue the Don Henley lyrics, “this is the end of the innocence”. His interests lie with anything rated PG-13 or starring Adam Sandler.

Our younger son is ten and in the fifth grade. Still in love with Harry Potter, he’ll vote for anything with super heroes, sci-fi, or fantasy. And even though a few of these movies are violent enough to carry PG-13 ratings his older brother will vote them down just because.

Thirty minutes of searching eclipses and still no progress. “What about Honey I Shrunk the Kids,” I suggest. Surely something starring Rick Moranis would be a great family movie. Everyone shoots me down. “What about The Sandlot, Harry and the Hendersons, Zootopia,” I venture.  Again, shot down.

I’m inserting a quick Venn Diagram to depict what we’re up against. Look familiar? Guess what I like to watch?


Forty-five minutes go by and we stumble upon “Airplane!”. The trailer is so bad that it’s good and we’re hooked. Slapstick, silly humor and mildly inappropriate. Perfect for everyone. The kids love it and movie night is saved. Tonight we were thrown a life-line. Hopefully something good will come across our radar screen next time. Airplane