Favorite Family Films: Ladyhawke

All growing up as far back as I can remember, my family had a regular “Family Night” on Friday nights. It was simple, this Family night. Often we referred to it as “movie night” because that’s generally what we did. We watched a movie and ate pizza, maybe had popcorn or dessert, and then when the movie was over we couldn’t help but discuss it. We’d quote our favorite lines, talk about which parts we liked best, exult over the moments that we guessed before they happened, and just generally have a lively discussion about the movie.

This shared time of discussing the movie after we watched it is part of my favorite memories growing up. To this day, when my family gets together, we still enjoy talking about movies – either new ones we’ve seen, or old ones we watched numerous times as a family, or going to see new ones together and then going out to pizza afterwards and discussing. For days we would continue to quote the movie, and even to this day when we are together we will quote a movie and pause, giving our family members a moment to identify the movie said quote is from.

Watching movies and reading books together as a family was always a social experience. Sometimes it was almost an Olympic Sport!

This tradition was fun, but it was also beautiful. It lent itself to creating a shared experience, a shared character, a shared ideal… even a “shared soul” between my siblings and my parents and myself.

Which brings me to the reason for this post. I know there are other families out there who love to read books and watch movies together. And perhaps you might find yourself looking for something to watch this summer. So, I thought I’d do a Friday series through the summer on some of my favorite movies. This will be different from my normal movie reviews as these movies will be on the older side… and some of them you may be familiar with… but you may find a new treasure in this series.

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Today’s feature is my second favorite movie of all time: Ladyhawke

Enter a medieval world of knights, priests, pickpockets, and magic. Follow a young thief as he escapes from an inescapable prison and stumbles into Captain Navarre and his tragic tale and gets swept up on Navarre’s quest for vengeance.

Rutger Hauer does a brilliant job in his best role ever as the troubled and brooding Captain Navarre. You will fall in love with this character as you travel with him on his quest to restore his honor, and the tragic twist to his story will bring you to tears.

The lovely Michelle Pfeiffer does a fantastic job as the mysterious leading lady. She is the epitome of femininity, and though her fate has been ripped from her hands, she retains a strength of heart and a nobility that is admirable. She manages to be strong without being abrasive, and submissive without seeming helpless.

But it is Matthew Broderick – through whose eyes the story is told – who will capture your heart. This young scamp who unwittingly falls into a story of magic and evil curses and danger is one of the most lovable characters I’ve ever come across. Philippe “Mouse” has a quick and witty sense of humor, and travels through the story while carrying on a running conversation with God. You’ll want to pay close attention to his lines, because they are hilarious and poignant all at the same time.

I’ve seen a lot of movies, and this one is still up there in my opinion as one of the best fantasy-films of all time. While most fantasy movies tend to come across as “campy” or “cheesy” this one lacks those elements. I think it succeeds where other fantasy films fail because it keeps the “fantasy” elements somewhat in the background, highlighting instead incredibly real moments of character development, a plot that is as tragic as it is beautiful, and witty dialogue that will make you laugh out loud. My husband thinks the soundtrack is a bit “too eighties” but I think it’s fantastic… I’ll leave it to you to decide whether you think it adds or detracts from the story.

If you love noble and heroic characters, sword fights, witty humor, the medieval time period, and a hint of fantasy I think you will fall in love with this movie.

Have you seen Ladyhawke? Does this sound like one you’d be interested in? If you watch this one this summer, I’d love to hear what you thought!

Ladyhawke is available to rent at amazon, youtube, iTunes, and google play. You might be able to find it at your local library, as well.

~ jenelle

8 Comments

Daddy

I love your post Jenelle and I too…..love this movie. Your description of “Isabeau” is perfect. She is the reason this movie works so well. My favorite thing about this particular movie is that it is one of your mommy’s all-time favorites!

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Deborah O'Carroll

I have never heard of this! :O But my library has it… I must see if I can watch it sometime! :D Yay, fantasy movies! (Also, I love the idea of this family film blog series and your family nights. :))

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