I was 13 when I saw Top Gun.
This weekend, 36 years later, I watched it again with my kids.
Here’s how it went down…
Aside: It is so f’n strange to say 36 years have passed. I don’t even feel 36 years old in my mind.
Watching a movie again after so many years shows you just how much you’ve actually changed.
I remember being devastated when Goose died. So enthralled by Maverick and Charlie’s ‘romance’. Thinking Iceman was a horrible person. Being so impressed that a woman was a top expert in a heavily male-dominated world.
Here’s what I felt this time around:
- No one was really all that sad when Goose died
- Charlie and Maverick’s ‘relationship’ pissed me off
- Iceman was the smarter and more trustworthy pilot
- Charlie’s accomplishments only served to give Maverick more status as the one she was infatuated with
On this last point, I want to take a moment and rant.
Charlie was an astrophysicist and teacher at a super-elite naval academy. And yet, she literally and recklessly chased a pilot in her car because his feelings were hurt when she pointed out his dangerous tactics weren’t the best approach.
At 13, I thought it was so cool that she was keeping up with him in her car. She was as kickass as he was. Not so much.
After Maverick’s initial over-the-top chase, she — an accomplished astrophysicist and instructor — was always the one chasing him.
I just can’t.
Their ‘romance’ felt forced and completely dumb. No amount of Berlin’s Take My Breath Away (and there was a lot of it!) made me feel like this was some kind of great love.
I have so many more thoughts but haven’t quite sorted it all out yet.
Still, seeing things from a different and wiser lens feels good.
What makes me feel even better is that my 16-year old daughter sees it the same way. She doesn’t have to wait 36 years to understand all that’s wrong with these kinds of stories.
Right now, it doesn’t feel like we’re in a good place. We are facing some really strong and dangerous backlash to the progress we’ve made.
But I hope that what I see in my daughter and many other teens will make a difference in how things evolve.