Stories I Love: Back to the Future

Back to the Future (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes
Photo from Rotten Tomatoes

I love the 80s’. The music. The movies. The fashion…okay, maybe not ALL the fashion, but in terms of pop culture, it was a pretty amazing decade. One of my favorite films of all time was released in 1985, the classic sci-fi time-traveling adventure, Back to the Future. Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Lea Thompson, Back to the Future became an instant hit and spawned two successful sequels. Many films and TV shows (yes, I am looking at you Stranger Things), have borrowed considerably from Back to the Future, but few have been able to measure up.

The most impressive aspect of Back to the Future is the script. Everything that is set up in the beginning pays off beautifully in the end. In a world where it is more fashionable to shock audiences then to tell a cohesive story, Back to the Future‘s tight, exhilarating script is a breath of fresh air. There are no major twists, no heartbreaking deaths, no shock and awe. The story plays out pretty much how you expect it would. And that’s the beauty of it. As a viewer, I walked away satisfied that, after everything Marty went through, he and his family were better for it in the end. I wish more movies would follow Back to the Future‘s lead when it comes to crafting a satisfying and fulfilling story.

Back to the Future is actually a strange film. A teenage boy is friends with a mad scientist. The same boy has to go back in time and essentially hit on his mother so his parents will get together. And yet, director Robert Zemeckis manages to make a film that is fun and heartwarming despite the more unsavory parts of the premise. And the film never stops moving. The pacing and editing keep the story tense and tight.

They don’t make movies like Back to the Future anymore. Movies now are designed to support franchises not storytelling. I seriously hope Hollywood doesn’t attempt to remake this timeless classic.

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