We’re re-instituting the Friday Night Family movie here at Butterscotch Sundae headquarters. Rather than spending 20 to 30 minutes arguing about what movie we’re going to watch, we’re going to take turns choosing. So I started making lists of movies I want to force the children to watch, and I thought I’d share them with you, too, in case you’d like to introduce your kids to them as well.
I’m not big into watching actual sports on TV, but I do love a good sports story. Here are some of my favorites.
The Karate Kid (1984)
Fact: ’80s kids are incapable of washing their cars without employing the “wax on, wax off” technique.
“The Karate Kid” taught us important lessons about sportsmanship, work ethic and character. We also learned never to trust a blond dude wearing a bandana as a headband and that The Crane Kick is difficult but totally worth the effort.
“The Karate Kid” is available for $5 on DVD at Amazon. You can buy a digital download, too, but the DVD is cheaper.
Rockford might stop speaking to me if I left “Hoosiers” off the list. This one’s got redemption, romance, an underdog story and a whole truckload of Midwestern nostalgia. It’s good stuff.
The Mighty Ducks (1992)
I was still in my Emilio Estevez (thank you, “Young Guns”) phase when “The Mighty Ducks” came out, so my 14-year-old self was not opposed to going to a Disney movie about hockey. I’m grateful for that, because it’s a fun movie.
A League of Their Own (1992)
There aren’t enough girl-power sports movies out there. This one is top-notch, and without it we would never have known just how much crying is acceptable in baseball. It’s probably my favorite Madonna movie.
“Rudy” was responsible for my brief love of Notre Dame football and for my penchant to chant “Rudy” when I’m trying to inspire friends and family to greatness. It stars
Samwise Gamgee Sean Astin as an unlikely football hero, and it is sappy, inspiring sports-movie perfection.
“Rudy” is available on Netflix.
The Sandlot (1993)
“The Sandlot” is a funny, heartwarming baseball movie, and I was not at all into funny, heartwarming baseball movies in 1993. And so I don’t think I saw this when it originally came out. I’m seeing the kid who played Ham all over the place all of a sudden, so I guess things are going alright for him.
“The Sandlot” is available on DVD at Amazon, but it isn’t streaming anywhere. Which is definitely killin’ me, Smalls.
Angels in the Outfield (1994)
I did see “Angels in the Outfield” in the theater, which must mean I was at my dad’s house when it came out because we went to a lot of family-friendly sports movies together.
It’s a sweet little movie, but I’d recommend it even if it wasn’t because it stars a very young and adorable Joseph Gordon Levitt.
Space Jam (1996)
When I was growing up, even the kids who weren’t Chicago Bulls fans acknowledged that Michael Jordan was pretty much the greatest basketball player of all time, ever. Now my kids know him as “the ‘Space Jam’ guy.” I’m OK with that, because it’s a totally tubular ’90s sports movie and it’s the only one on this list that features Wayne Knight and Bill Murray.
“Space Jam” is available as a Netflix DVD rental or to as a digital rental or purchase from Amazon. (But you should probably just buy “Space Jam” on DVD from Amazon so you have it in your permanent collection.)
Another hockey movie!
I was a toddler during the 1980 Olympics, and I think I’ve sat through one hockey game in my entire life. So this story was pretty much new to me. It’s exciting true story, and it stars Kurt Russell. How could you go wrong?