It’s small town USA in the mid-eighties. A couple of brothers, asthma-sufferer Mikey (Sean Astin) and muscle-bound Brand (Josh Brolin) are coming to terms with the fact that they are about to be torn away from their friends unless they can come up with a whole heap of money. Then Mikey finds a treasure map, and him and his mates set out on the journey of a lifetime. There’s Chunk (Jeff Cohen), an overweight kid with a huge heart, Mouth (Corey Feldman) the smartarse of the group and Data (Jonathan Ke Quan), the inventor who sometimes manages to get his inventions to work. Brand ends up accidentally joining them, as do Brand’s crush, Andy (Kerri Green) and her mate Stef (Martha Plimpton). Then they come across a family of bad guys and… watch out!
Oh, I was so fearful of watching this… what if it didn’t hold up? What if I ended up *gulp* hating the Goonies? Fear not. It was as fabulous as I remember. Yes, slightly over-written, and overly sentimental, but great. I watched it at a free outdoor screening in a park and it was just ace. A warm enough night, a whole heap of people revisiting their childhood, and a whole heap of kids discovering the Goonies for the first time.
And for an extra-special blast of the past, go check out Cyndi Lauper’s “The Goonies R Good Enough” clip – it’s all Goonies – and 80s wrestlers!
There are the original parents of the family; Frank Buckman (Jason Robards) and his wife Marilyn (Eileen Ryan) (oh, and one of their mothers is still around, played by the delightful Helen Shaw). They have four kids; Gil (Steve Martin), Helen (Diane Wiest), Susan (Harley Jane Kozak) and Larry (Tom Hulce). Gil, married to Karen (Mary Steenburgen) is dealing with an anxious son, a quite normal daughter and a crazy toddler and is trying to figure out how he feels about the fourth which is on the way. Helen has a son, Garry (Joaquin Phoenix) who is reclusive since his father left and a rebellious daughter, Julie (Martha Plimpton) who is dating drag- racing drop-kick Tod (Keanu Reeves). Susan is married to Nathan (Rick Moranis) who is desperate to ensure their daughter is a genius. And Larry turns up out of the blue being chased by gangsters who owe him money and with a surprise son, Cool, in tow.
A lot going on? Yup. Funny? Very. Heartbreaking? Yes, at times. Does it stand up to time? I think so. Some of the fashions are dated, but not in a bad way. I’d be interested to see how much would change if such a film were made now. Possible not a lot. It’s clever, entertaining and I totally enjoy it every time I see it.
Parenthood was nominated for Oscars for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Dianne Wiest) and Best Music, Original Song (Randy Newman, I Love to See You Smile).