The Back to the Future Test
If you don’t like this film, seek urgent medical attention
Warning: Contains spoilers.
Every cineaste has their favourite films. Some of mine are understandably divisive for a variety of reasons; too offbeat, too weird, too avant-garde, too scary, too disturbing, too offensive (my love of horror and controversial cinema makes this a frequent complaint for some). On the other hand, I struggle to understand why anyone would dislike It’s a Wonderful Life, Mary Poppins, Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, or The Lord of the Rings. Or people who think Monty Python and the Holy Grail isn’t funny. Yet such people exist. I can only pity them.
Nonetheless, I do have one, bona fide, we-can’t-be-friends-if-you-don’t-like-this film: Back to the Future. For me, liking Robert Zemeckis’s 1985 romantic time-travel comedy adventure is a litmus test for whether one is indeed a member of the human race. Not liking this film is akin to not breathing oxygen, and I am deeply suspicious of people claiming to be human who don’t need oxygen.