I clearly recall the last Summer of my pre-teen years, I was so excited about turning 13 in the coming Autumn and felt that I was much older and more mature than my years. We had just moved from Melbourne to Daylesford and I didn't have any friends yet because school hadn't started back, so I hadn't had a chance to meet anyone my own age yet. I spent that Summer doing some really cool things that didn't seem as awesome at the time; but looking back on it now, it may well have been the best Summer of my young life.
I had gotten a Walkman for Christmas and a couple of tapes, which I flogged to death. Being new to the area I was very curious to discover the lay of the land and soon discovered some fantastic walking paths through the bush that led to Lake Jubilee. I can't even tell you how many times I walked to and around that lake with my Walkman blasting bad 80's tunes that Summer. I saw my first snake in the wild, had my first taste of Spa water, once saw a wombat digging a burrow and eventually got the guts up to swim out past my comfort zone to the lake pontoon that sat in the centre of Lake Jubilee, which was both exhilarating and terrifying all at once. And I did it all alone, but I don't recall ever feeling lonely.
In my worn out red Chuck Taylors; I found at least a dozen four clovers whilst lying in the grass, discovered the best tree in our yard to climb and read in and learnt how to shoot a bow and arrow. I ate apples straight from the orchard, caught a thousand drop-tail skinks and made friends with a feral cat that frequented our yard. I also befriended an elderly couple that lived two doors down, they had a Rottweiler called Rocky and were obsessed with classic MGM musicals which I used to watch with them. They always welcomed me in, gave me lemonade or herbal tea with dutch spiced cookies and would chat to me for hours before we sat down to watch Singing in the Rain or something similar. It was also the Summer that I got to know my parents a lot better because they had both retired and all of my siblings had moved on, so we got a lot of quality one on one time that year and I look back on those moments fondly.
It's funny the stuff that you remember as precious as you get older. It really was an amazing Summer, a Summer before boys and puberty and high school drama. A Summer that I never would've got to experience if we hadn't moved to Daylesford, if I hadn't been friendless and if I hadn't always had a sense of adventure.
Release Date: 1985
Running Date: 97 mins
This movie always makes me think of my early teens when I was obsessed with it and watched it at least 20 times. It's a coming of age tale by Savage Steve Holland, about a teenage boy that can't cope with his girlfriend dumping him and decides that he should end his life.
Lane (John Cusack) has the oddest family, add that with his oddball best friend Charles (Curtis Armstrong) and top it off with an epic dumping from the love of his life and you've got a recipe for teen depression with a side of suicidal tendencies. However, Lane is so pathetic that he can't even pull off his own suicide properly and finds that he must face his troubles head on.
I recall falling in love with John Cusack as a teen watching this movie; I also recall the fabulous 80's fashions and soundtrack that kept me watching it over and over again. It's not a work of art, but it is a wonderful teen-comedy and an iconic coming of age film for me.
FINAL SAY: I want my two dollars!
3.5 Chili Peppers