Monday, February 18, 2019

15 Memorable Middle Child Movie Moments: Part 1

    Academy Awards Special Feature!

     Hollywood’s big night is almost here! What better time to pay tribute to the greatest Middle Child movies of all time? Oh right, there are none. Okay... what better time to pay tribute to films where a Middle Child is the protagonist, or at least plays a pivotal part? Yeah, that could work.

played by Molly Ringwald in “Sixteen Candles” (1984)
Older sister: Ginny/Younger brother: Mike
     The premise of John Hughes’ teen angst classic is so Middle Child-ish, it has to top the list. It’s Sam’s 16th birthday, but her family is so consumed with her older sister’s wedding the next day, everyone has completely forgotten her birthday! It doesn’t get any more Middle Child than that.

                                              DONNIE DARKO
played by Jake Gyllenhaal in “Donnie Darko” (2001)
Older sister: Elizabeth/Younger sister: Samantha
     It’s not often a Middle Child gets top billing, so this film makes the list. After a near death experience, Donnie sees visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who convinces him to commit crimes. When a plane his younger sister is on explodes, one of the jet engines falls into Donnie’s bedroom, crushing him to death. Talk about your troubled Middle Child.
(SIBLING SIDENOTE: Jake’s older sister Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Donnie’s older sister.)

                                          SODAPOP CURTIS
played by Rob Lowe in “The Outsiders” (1983)
Older brother: Darrel/Younger brother: Ponyboy
     Like many Middle Children, Sodapop is the peacemaker. According to, “He takes his role as middle brother seriously, and is constantly the in-between for Pony and Darry, acting as a buffer against their constant clashes.” That doesn’t mean he enjoys being a sibling mediator. “I can't stand to hear y'all fight,” he says. “Sometimes I have to get out or… it's like a middleman in a tug o' war and I'm being split in half…” You’re preaching to the choir, Soda.

                                  MAXINE JOSEPH
             played by Vivica A. Fox in “Soul Food” (1997)
Older sister: Teri/Younger sister: Robin “Bird”
     Maxine doesn’t have such a great relationship with her older sister. Oh, maybe that’s because she stole her sister’s boyfriend and married him. Okay, so maybe Middle Children aren’t always the peacemaker in the family.

voiced by Dana Gaier in “Despicable Me” (2010)
Older sister: Margo/Younger sister: Agnes
     According to the Despicable Me Wiki page, “Edith is currently the least explored of the three sisters, which is understandable considering she's the Middle Child, the likes of which are stereotypically neglected by their parents.” That is truly despicable.

played by Henry Thomas in “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)
Older brother: Michael/Younger sister: Gertie
     A lonely ten year old longing for friendship forms a psychic connection with a big eyed, long necked, Reese’s Pieces loving alien. Of course the kid’s a Middle Child! While not the title character, maybe Elliot can lay claim to top billing since his initials are also E.T? Can’t blame a MidKid for trying.

played by Brad Pitt in “Legends of the Fall” (1994)
Older brother: Alfred/Younger brother Samuel
     Three brothers live in remote Montana -- isn't that redundant? -- with their father in the early 20th century, but there’s an outrageous twist: the Middle Child is actually his father’s favorite son! Unheard of!! This movie must be pure fiction. Brad Pitt wins a Middie Award for “Best Looking Movie Middle Child Ever.” He also wins a Middie for “Best Middle Child Line in a Non-Middle Child Movie” for this classic scene as Tyler Durden in “Fight Club.”
(SIBLING SIDENOTE: Henry Thomas appears in his second movie on the list,
this time as Pitt’s little brother Samuel.)

played by George Clooney in “Up in the Air” (2009)
Older sister: Kara/Younger sister: Julie
     Mega-frequent flier Ryan Bingham spends most of his life travelling for business. His goal is to become the seventh and youngest person to earn ten million AAdvantage miles. In a true act of Middle Child selflessness, Ryan transfers 1,000,000 miles to his sister and brother-in-law so they can fly around the world for their honeymoon. Clooney was also Middie nominated for “Best Looking Movie Middle Child Ever,” losing to real-life pal Pitt.
(AWARD ANNOTATION: Clooney was a Best Supporting Actor nominee 
for his Middle Child portrayal.)

COMING FRIDAY: 15 Memorable Middle Child Movie Moments: Part 2

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Middle Children need to be heard!