We all have those films that we just loved when we were growing up, right? Films that we would watch repeatedly and knew off by heart? One of my favourites was on telly about two weeks ago and it got me thinking about what my top 5 favourites would be. Well, ta-daaaaa! I decided to compile a list, so here we go:
5. Teen Witch (1989)
Now when I mention this film to people, not many tend to know it and I always get “oh, you mean Sabrina The Teenage Witch?” No. No I don’t…
Long before Melissa Joan Hart came along we had Robyn Lively as Louise Miller, a high school nerd (I know, I know… predictable narrative) who gains magical powers on her 16th birthday and uses them to become the most popular girl at school. Little sidenote here for you fact fans – Robyn is Blake Lively’s half-sister.
I hadn’t seen this film for absolute years, decades even, but I managed to rewatch it last year… I cringed so badly that I almost turned inside out 😂😂 It really hasn’t aged well at all – check out this scene if you don’t believe me. No actually, please check it out, you HAVE to!
So now that Louise has the power of magic in her very hands, she intends to bag Brad the high school hottie, get back at her snarky English teacher, and become more popular than the cheerleaders who always demeaned her.
This comes at a price though and Louise ends up alienating her loyal best friend, Polly, who has always stuck by her.
Will Louise realise that having magical powers is no substitute for a real best friend before it’s too late?
4. Grease 2 (1982)
It goes without saying that Grease is a timeless classic of a film and I bloody love it. But did you know that it had a sequel – and it was absolutely TERRIBLE? But that’s what makes it SO brilliant! 😂
Grease 2 is set in the 60s, so a few years later than the original, and this film’s Sandy and Danny are Stephanie (Michelle Pfieffer) and Michael (Maxwell Caulfield).
Michael is new in town and to Rydell High and we soon discover, is a cousin of Sandy’s. Within seconds he has fallen for Stephanie, but alas, she doesn’t know he’s alive. In order to gain her affections, Michael decides he needs to cool himself up, get a motorbike and leather jacket like a true T-Bird and sweep her off her feet.
The musical numbers in this film aren’t a patch on the original but there’s still some catchy tunes in there. Me and my friends used to love the Stephanie solo “Cool Rider”, where she straddles a set of ladders mid-song.
Not gonna lie, my Dad had some ladders like this in the shed and 9 year old me used to clamber up onto them, trying not to go arse over tit, whilst wailing the song like a strangled cat. Ahh… I really was the biggest square 😂🙈
One thing I really like about Grease 2 is the fact that some old cast members still made an appearance. The film features Frenchy, Coach Calhoun, Eugene, Crater Face, Miss McGee and Blanche.
Give it a watch if you fancy a cheesy laugh!
3. Flashdance (1983)
I loved this film so much when I was about 9 or 10. Looking back, there are obviously some bits in it that were a *tad* inappropriate for somebody of that age to be viewing but I honestly barely noticed them – all I cared about was the dance routines. We had this film on video and I watched it alllllll the time, trying to copy the routines and failing miserably.
Flashdance is centred around Alex, who is a welder by day and a struggling club dancer by night. Alex has no formal dance training but dreams of making her living by being a professional dancer. The film shows us Alex’s struggles to break into the industry and whether or not she will make it into the Pittsburgh Conservatory of Dance and Repertory.
There are some ICONIC dance sequences in this film, one of my favourites being the “toilet flush” routine:
And who can forget the closing number; the one we are all waiting on, to see if it’ll all be enough to get Alex into that prestigious dance school? All set to the magic of Irene Cara’s “Flashdance… What A Feeling” – CHOOOOOOON!
Being such an epic film, it’s also been emulated in some music videos, including a segment in Geri Halliwell’s cover of It’s Raining Men and J-Lo took off the entire film in her video for I’m Glad.
2. Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead (1991)
DTMTBD is all about 17 year old Sue Ellen (Swell) Crandell – played by Christina Applegate – and her four younger siblings.
Swell’s mother is going away for two months over the Summer and Swell can’t wait for some freedom… Only her Mum has other plans and has hired a live in babysitter to care for her brood. Swell is NOT happy at the prospect of being babysat but her Mum insists and in comes Mrs Sturak, who has a split personality – sweetness and light to Mrs Crandell and Sargeant Major to the kids, who all hate her:
Literally two days in, Mrs Sturak dies unexpectedly from a heart attack and Swell and the kids decide to fend for themselves.
Swell fakes a CV as a fashion designer and blags herself a job at General Apparel West (GAW) in order to pay the bills, working alongside the lovely Rose:
The fashions, styles and outfits in this film are a 90s dream and Christina Applegate will give you such a girl crush 😍😍😍
Swell comes up against many obstacles in her quest to be head of the household and move up the ladder in her new job.
It all culminates in Swell putting on a fashion show for GAW using her designs in her own backyard, will her big secret come out?
1. Labyrinth (1986)
The BEST film of my childhood, hands down. If you have never seen this then where in God’s name have you been?!
This film is all about Sarah (Jennifer Connelly), who is reluctantly babysitting her baby brother, Toby, one night when he is kidnapped by Jareth, the Goblin King.
Toby is taken to Jareth’s castle in the centre of the Labyrinth and Sarah has 13 hours to find him, otherwise Toby will become a goblin forever. Of course, it isn’t in any way straightforward, and Sarah comes up against many obstacles in her quest to rescue Toby, whilst also making some interesting friends along the way.
Jareth is excellently portrayed by the late, great David Bowie, who wrote and sung all the songs from the film’s soundtrack. All the songs are great but I think Dance Magic Dance has to be my favourite – sing it with me!
Sidenote: DB wore some really outlandish costumes as Jareth – typical Bowie really! – and his very tight bottoms always used to make me and my friends giggle. So immature I know 😂
I remember watching a “making of” documentary about Labyrinth years ago and it was so interesting seeing how it all took shape. All of the creatures in it, big or small, were puppets which were created and operated by Jim Henson and his team. The Jim Henson Company were behind the creation of The Muppets and Jim also worked on Sesame Street. There are some brilliant puppet characters in Labyrinth but I think my favourite has to be Sir Didymus and his faithful dog Ambrosius.
And although he only features in it for a minute or two, I just love the cute little worm that Sarah meets when she first enters the Labyrinth. I even bought my sister this cute mug a little while ago:
Once again, if you have never seen Labyrinth, then please get yourself acquainted as it’s a cult classic!
What were your favourite films growing up? Let me know in the comments!