I can still remember the first time I saw the original Karate Kid. I was 14 years old and after seeing Ralph Macchio as Daniel-Son, I had the biggest crush on him. We saw Karate Kid at a drive in movie theater in Pennsylvania - near my parent's summer home in the Poconos that they sadly wound up selling a few years later. Perhaps it was the fact that we saw the film in a special place (gotta say, I love drive in movies) or that Ralph was incredibly easy on my teen eyes, but either way, I was hooked on "The Karate Kid" from day one.
Fast forward more than 25 years (gulp) and it's the summer of 2010. I'm sitting next to my eight year old son and my husband at a movie theater in Westchester and I am giddy with excitement to see "The Karate Kid" remake. This time around, while I did fall in love with the characters (especially the incredibly talented Jaden Smith) and wanted to knock out those bullies, the movie had an incredible impact on my son. In fact, immediately after seeing the film, he decided he wanted to take karate lessons. And so, two days a week after work, my husband zips home from New Jersey (we live in Westchester) so that he can get Dylan to his karate class on the other side of town. So far, Dylan's learned a few impressive moves, can count to 10 in Japanese, and looks quite adorable in his little white outfit (okay - he probably wouldn't appreciate that comment since he's a serious karate student now.)
Nevertheless, there's something about movies that have the power to touch your life in a positive and lasting way. And that's what the Karate Kid has done for us. Sure my first experience was centered on my teenage crush and the fact that a few years later, the song from one of the sequels defined my relationship with my first love (my ex even wrote about "Glory of Love" in my high school yearbook). For my son, the latest film tackles important issues that he has already faced in his young life. While we haven't uprooted him and moved to China, Dylan has come face to face with bullies and has managed to hold his own. While he's typically a reserved kid, his karate lessons have made him more confident, more disciplined and he's even convinced his dad, who also used to take karate lessons as a kid, to join him in class.
While they haven't been able to convince me to slip on a karate suit we still have the film to bring us all together. And that's why, I'm so psyched that The Karate Kid is being released on DVD next Tuesday! Once my men return from karate class, I can't wait to curl up on the couch together and catch the film again (it's one of those movies you can watch with your kids over and over again).