What’s on your family’s movie menu this weekend?

No matter what kind of movies you like, there’s something for everyone on television this weekend. And finding films on the tube is an easy way to try out something you haven’t seen or revisit a favorite. Check out these films.

Interested in a thoughtful look at how teenagers think? John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club takes us into a group of five high school students — including the Jock, the Brain, the Criminal, the Princess and the Kook — who meet in “detention” on a Saturday morning at the high school because each breaks some rules. Each explains why getting into trouble can become the only way to release the emotional pressure of day-to-day life. Through conversations that sound like they come from real people, these kids learn from each other why they act as they do, and what steps they can each take to be happier, one day at a time. As with his other films, Hughes never looks at teenagers through the eyes of a wise adult. He sees kids through themselves, as if enabling us to look at their challenges through a two-way mirror. The director doesn’t judge how the kids act or speak, nor does he impart an adult’s wisdom of how to fix any problem. Instead he shows how they discover what root issues they need to confront to change the behavior that may land them in detention, today, and shape their futures tomorrow. Tune in to The Breakfast Club at 7 p.m., Friday, October 4, on ABC Family.

Some families will kill together to stay together. They define the communities where they live, set their own rules and take the law into their own hands. They may not all have the same name or be related by blood but, because they share a common interest in a brand of justice, they create a unique kind of family. In The Godfather, a family thrives in a fascinating double standard. While they willingly hurt and kill others for business, they only get personal when focusing on family. And the family, loosely defined, willingly lives, dies and kills for each other. That they are involved in “organized crime” is incidental. That may be their work but the family is their life. Only when they fail to separate the love for family with the commitment to work do they struggle to keep the community intact and their ambitions under control. Writer/director Francis Ford Coppola fills the screen with such incredible detail, from the cannoli a character picks up before killing someone, or the fruit the Don picks out before he is shot, to the extended wedding sequence at the beginning that tells us everything we need to know about everyone. It’s like a movie all by itself. As the picture progresses, and the characters change, the commitment to detail leaves us breathless. Coppola paints a picture so rich in its texture and color that we are willing to accept anything these characters do. While we may not agree with how they live, we are taken by their energy for the lives they choose. Check out The Godfather on Sunday at 11:30 am. On AMC.

Looking for a fun musical? The inventive Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tells the whimsical story of a man with two children who invents a flying car. Along the way they all manage to sing and dance their way to several songs penned by brothers Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman who, a few years earlier, wrote the tunes for Mary Poppins. The result is an entertaining romp that effortlessly entertains. The film airs on Sunday, Oct. 6, at 3:45 p.m. on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). The lady who won an Oscar for Mary Poppins, Dame Julie Andrews, hits the screen in what many consider her most delightful movie performance in Victor/Victoria. As a down-on-her-luck singer in Paris in the 1930s — who hits the big time when she pretends to be a man who pretends to be a woman — Andrews is at the peak of her powers as a singer and actress, delivering a performance of precise comic timing and emotional authenticity. This delightful film broadcasts on Sunday at 2:15 p.m. on Sundance.

 

Serving worthwhile movies can be as easy as turning on the television. And, as you watch together, you can share what you observe, question and consider. Watching movies together can prompt meaningful family conversations. Enjoy!