Jette over at CelluloidEyes has blogged a funny little bit about why it's impossible to see movies with her parents. Her mother refuses to sit through anything "with even hints of pre-marital sex" - Her father loves broad, crude humor but pretends, for the mom's sake, that he's just as disgusted as her. Jette goes down the list of films she could theoretically take her parents to see, and interates the complaint they would likely make regarding each one - from "I can't get into any of those foreign films," to, "I don't see why they have to remake movies, especially if they're just going to add dirty jokes."
I hear this kind of thing a lot: as both parties get older, it gets more and more difficult to share cinematic experiences with our parents. Zeitgeist-films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind seem especially generationally divisive. Everyone I know who is my age loved it - but all of our parents hated it. A very close friend's father, who in the past got excited about films like Paris, Texas but now seems to consume mostly historical epics, On Demand-ed Eternal Sunshine and then decided after 15 minutes that it was "silly" and turned it off. And it cuts both ways: I know I've never really had any patience for Easy Rider.
Is there such a thing as generational cinema - or do we like what we like based solely on our personal ideology and aesthetics, regardless of time and time period and time frame? What do you think?