Round our place, Friday night is family movie night.
Ours is a smidge easier to organise than other families’ – we’ve just got the one kid, so there’s no juggling of different tastes.
There’s no need to bridge the impasse between the younger girl who will only watch DVDs that feature a puppy on the cover and the older boy who seems to think that he’s really mature and can totally handle an MA-rated films.
Those families have my respect for being able to negotiate that minefield.
Now, some may have picked up the reference to DVDs a paragraph or two earlier.
We’re not downloading or streaming the films for family movie night – we’re watching old-fashioned hard-copy DVDs.
And on Friday afternoon we go to the closest DVD store to pick a movie. Yeah, we still go to DVD hire stores to pick movies.
That’s in part because it limits our daughter’s selection to what is on the shelves. Streaming movies could give her access to every movie ever made, which would likely lead to decision paralysis on her part.
For the longest time, she was the kid picking DVDs largely because there was a dog or cat on the cover. So that meant my wife and I had to sit through The Dog Who Saved Christmas, The Dog Who Saved Halloween, The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation and The Dog Who Saved Easter.
Luckily she hasn’t found out about The Dog Who Saved Summer.
We’ve finally managed to get her to understand that it’s family movie night and that she has to pick a film we all can watch.
That, plus the purchase of a book that lists the best family movies (and a requirement that future picks have to come from that book), has borne fruit.
Now we all get to sit down for films like Back to the Future, Cool Runnings, Bend it Like Beckham and a few Harry Potter films.
None of which have dogs on the cover.