Brooke vs. The Goonies


Brooke is 28 years old, lives in Atlanta and will never watch The Goonies. For many children of the 80s, Richard Donner’s 1985 kiddie adventure flick is a cultural touchstone, its hidden-treasure fueled romp through secret caves and the mire of pre-adolescence still wildly beloved to this day. But she really couldn’t care less.

Is it true that you’ve never seen The Goonies and that you never intend to see it?
I’ve never seen The Goonies. I never intend to see The Goonies. And part of it is that I think the movie probably sucks. I realize that maybe I should see it before I can say for sure that it sucks, but I just think sometimes you know when something sucks. I’ve never been, I don’t know, jumped in an alley, but I know that it would suck. Same with The Goonies. I don’t need to see it to know. And the other component to me never wanting to see The Goonies is—and this may be a 60/40 split, but 60 is going to the reaction I get from people when I say that I’ve never seen it. They start yelling at me, and maybe it’s general excitement and not anger, but all I know is there’s loudness coming at me. Everyone wants to watch it with you, but I don’t want to watch it—by myself or with anyone.

Do you feel this way about anything else?
Like, disinterest and anger when someone brings up my lack of interest? No, I don’t think so.

Is there anything else that you absolutely wouldn’t do?
No intravenous drugs for me.

When did you decide that you were never going to see The Goonies?
Honestly, a few months ago. Because it is one of those movies that follows you everywhere, right? Like, Monster Squad‘s another one that people loved when we were kids and I’ve never seen it and I’m OK with that, you know? But there are these movies from our childhood that people always still revere and [The Goonies is] just one that I missed somehow.

What kind of movies did you like when you were growing up, when you were the age when you would have seen The Goonies for the first time?
I remember really liking Oliver & Company. … Billy Joel did the music and it had this crazy cat, right? And this really funny poodle! But that’s one that when it finally came out on DVD, because it wasn’t on DVD for a long time, I watched it so excited and anticipating this great movie that I loved when I was a kid, and it just didn’t really hold up that great. So that makes me think that people who love The Goonies when they were younger—it had to do with the time that they were seeing it, not the quality of the film.

So if anyone saw it as an adult, they might be disappointed.
I think if they saw it for the first time as an adult, yes, they would not be as interested.

Can you think of specific time that you informed someone that you’ve never seen it and they freaked out on you?
Oh gosh, yes. … My friend Carleigh’s roommate, who is a very nice girl—I don’t know her that well, her name’s Megan, but she’s very sweet. And I mentioned to a group of people that I hadn’t seen The Goonies and I was tired of people yelling at me about it and her reaction was, “Oh, I have it! We should watch it!” No, I’d rather not, actually! You’re really cool—let’s do something else, let’s not watch The Goonies, that movie sucks. I tried to watch it once because I was in college and, you know, there are lots of movies I haven’t seen and I like film and you want to be up on these things and be able to make, like, pop cultural references. I’d seen all these things about the Truffle Shuffle. I’m gonna admit, I was curious. It’s the thing that that fat kid does, right? The Truffle Shuffle? Isn’t it? … As someone who likes pop culture, I’m tangentially aware of elements of The Goonies so I felt like it was something I needed to see. But when I tried to watch it in college I seriously only made it through the first fifteen minutes and was bored to death.

So you have tried to watch it?
I tried.

Was it because someone was pressuring you?
Yes. And I said, “Let’s stop this, please.”

Who was it?
I think it was a roommate of mine when I lived in Athens. It was during college.

Was it just like, the pressure got to be too much? Or were you trying to make friends?
I think that I didn’t really feel super strongly before—it was just a movie that I hadn’t seen that a lot of people really liked. And she was like, “We should watch it.” And I was like, “I like movies. Sure, why not?” But then it really was kind of terrible. I just remember it seemed like a bunch of kids were running around without parents—I don’t know where all the parents were. Maybe they were at work or something? And these kids were running around. And there was this older kid—um, who I think was Matt Dillon?

I think it was Josh Brolin.
Josh Brolin, that’s right. And then there’s these terrorists underground or something, like in a cave, and there’s something happening in a cave—anyway, it was really boring.

How did that screening end?
It ended with me saying, “I’d rather do something else.”

Do you know what you did?
No, I don’t. Probably drank a beer and talked about how much I thought the movie wasn’t that great.

What is the worst movie that you’ve actually sat through? Because I know you like bad movies.
Yeah. Well, bad is so relative. Because that movie Dan in Real Life with Steve Carrell—I straight up walked out of it. It’s the only movie I’ve ever walked out of. I usually like to at least get my money’s worth.

How long does it take to get your money’s worth? Is there a certain time period?
I don’t think so. I just feel like if I pay to see it, I should see it. But that movie was just nauseating. But I mean, I like—Evil Dead 2 is really fun. I mean, obviously, Troll 2. I feel like there’s, like, a campy badness that can be really entertaining, and then there’s like trite, boring badness.

Have you ever gone to great lengths to not see The Goonies? Like, left a party or blown off a friend or something?
No, because if I knew I was going to a party where someone was going to play The Goonies I would have to wash my hair that night. I would have something else to do.

Do you think that it might ever reach the point that people try to ambush you with it?
Maybe jokingly. It kind of has become “my thing” that I don’t want to see that movie. I would hope that the people that are close enough to me to ambush me, though, wouldn’t want to waste my time with a shit movie from the 80s.

Are there any circumstances under which you might consider actually seeing it, like large sums of money or—?
If, like, a scientist had the cure for breast cancer and was like, “I’ll give it to your mom if you watch The Goonies,” I would watch The Goonies. But even that would be tough and I would make her thank me for it yearly—on my birthday, with money.

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