nostalgia necessities: THE GOONIES (1985)
Typical of my generation, nothing quite says childhood like a repeat viewing of The Goonies. And from the moment Chunk (Jeff Cohen) inadvertently slams that milkshake against the window of the arcade and shouts out an expletive, I’m hooked all over again. But before I get too far, I have a confession to make. Though I have since become an avid fan of the movie (much like every person I speak to that was born before 1990), the first time I saw it, it absolutely terrified me. I’m talking, Michael Jackson “Thriller” video terrifying (yeah, I saw it by accident as a youngster and never recovered). Luckily, once I’d actually seen it the whole way through, I recovered and have lived to watch it several hundred times since. And apparently even to this day, the movie is a laugh riot.
Now call me crazy, but my second favorite Goonie (I skip first since it seems like a requirement that Chunk be No. 1) is… Martha Plimpton. All right, so Sean Astin and Josh Brolin have since become two of my favorite actors thanks to Return of the King and No Country for Old Men, respectively, but it was Plimpton’s no-nonsense nerd girl that I most identified with. And I believe that’s what The Goonies was all about – a prototype child for every viewer to relate to (let’s just hope you didn’t relate to Troy). Thanks to her work in Music from Another Room, a Jude Law/Gretchen Mol-starrer that is otherwise fairly unimpressive, she has proven to me that she can still be hysterical. (Fast forward to the jelly donut scene in the movie, and you’ll agree wholeheartedly.)
So though my two favorite Goonies have fallen into relatively behind-the-scenes careers since 1985, the later careers of Astin and Brolin have really shone. Brolin should’ve gotten a nod for No Country and Astin should’ve won outright for Return of the King. And though neither actually, occurred (but both of them were nominated for other work), it is important to note that the only other major cast member in the film that has since managed an Oscar nomination is none other than Anne Ramsey (the focal point of my initial terror with the movie) for Throw Momma from the Train. Here’s hoping Plimpton can be added to that list sometime in the future. Use this woman for some comedy work!