It’s the fall. It’s the perfect time to hunker down in front of a fire and watch an amazing movie on the telly. There are certain movies that, when they come on, no matter how many times I have seen them, I must watch. Usually I say: “Oh, I’ll just watch a few minutes…” and then next thing you know I’ve watched the entire thing for the 98th time.
Here is my list, in no particular order. Keep in mind, I don’t fancy myself a movie expert. I just love all things entertaining. What’s your favorite movie? I’d love to know!
Garden State. Ohhhh. Love every single thing about this movie. Written, directed, and starring Zach Braff, and starring Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard. This movie introduced me to The Shins (thank you, Zach Braff), and the soundtrack is amazing from start to finish. And, oh yeah, it’s set in New Jersey.
American Beauty. Heartbreaking. Beautiful. Touching. Hysterical. Some over the top performances by Annette Bening and Kevin Spacey, among the completely perfect cast. The scene where Wes Bentley’s character describes the beauty of a plastic bag caught in the wind is absolutely perfect. Bonus: the writer, Alan Ball, also created, wrote and produced one of the best shows on TV EVER, Six Feet Under, and is working the same magic for True Blood currently. Le sigh.
Sissy. Bud. Enough said. This movie is a down home, chicken fried love story, complete with two-steppin, cheatin hearts, fist fightin, and a double wide trailer as a weddin gift. I am not a country lover but seeing a very young Debra Winger and an equally young John Travolta two-strpping the night away is enough to make me want to buy a pair of cowboy boots.
Best dialogue: FINE forget it! FINE forget it. You wanna get married?
Goodfellas. The best mafia movie ever made. Period. Yes I love the Godfather, but Goodfellas is an unbelievably amazing stand alone mob movie. Stellar cast and performances, fantastic soundtrack, and some of the best lines in any movie.The scene when a young Henry Hill blows up a car and says: ” One day some of the kids from the neighborhood carried my mother’s groceries all the way home. You know why? It was outta respect.” Oooh. Always gives me chills. Ray Liotta is at his scary, sexy, tough-guy best in this movie. No mob movie makes me want to start a life of crime more than this.
Star Wars. Did you know that I was a big nerd? Well, here is the evidence. I LOVE all things Star Wars, (except for that crap-tastic new trilogy with Jar Jar Binks…ugh, no). I am talking the First trilogy, with the original bad boy, Han Solo (helloooo, hottie). Even 30+ years after it was released, the effects stand up. And the EPIC story of good and evil, darkness and light. And oh, oh, I need to blame my incredibly horrific GPA the first semester of college on me watching the Star Wars Trilogy over and over again while eating Domino’s pizza. It’s true. And really, I still say “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” in my best Obi-Wan Kenobi voice when I try to make someone do what I want. It hasn’t worked…yet.
The Breakfast Club. I mean, you knew there had to be a John Hughes film on this list. I am a child of the 80’s and I probably know every word of at least a few of John Hughes’ movies. I mean, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off? Weird Science? Sixteen Candles? Pretty in Pink? St. Elmo’s Fire??? I could go on and on. But The Breakfast Club is my favorite. This movie appeals so very deeply to the angsty, insecure, misfit in all of us. It exposes so perfectly how incredibly painful high school can be, and how quick it comes and goes.
The Sound of Music. Ok, I am not only a sic-fi nerd, I am a musical theater nerd. Double whammy. When I was a kid The Sound of Music would come on right around Easter every year, and for some reason, my parents would let us stay up late and watch it. I never made it to the end, but I do remember being SO excited to try. I had the record (yes, I said record) of The Sound of Music soundtrack, and I would make my brother act out the music numbers for my parents (you’re welcome, family). You know what makes this movie? I mean, yes the musical numbers are freaking fantastic, and the true story set against the backdrop of Nazi-occupied Austria is terrific. And of course Julie Andrews has never looked more luminous, even with her frumpy garb and frightening bowl cut. What makes this movie is two words: Christopher Plummer. BOOM. He is a swoon worthy Austrian hunk, filled with cold reserve and smoldering passion. Honestly, when he sings “Edelweiss” when they are about to escape and his voice cracks…stop it. Just stop it.
Pulp Fiction. When this movie was released I saw it four times in the theater. I had never seen anything like it. It is violent, shocking, sexy, and completely brilliant. Boom Done. See it. And then see it again.
Swingers. This movie wanted me to start dressing like a pin-up girl and swing dancing. For reals. Jon Favreau wrote, directed and starred in this indie gem, and his so awkwardly pained he is almost hard to watch. And Vince Vaughn with all of his gangly, baby faced glory is a complete scene stealer. He has the BEST lines. “You’re so money you don’t even know it.” You take yourself out of the game, you start talking about puppy dogs and ice cream and of course it’s going to end up on the friendship tip.” He is SUCH an a-hole in this movie, and it’s blissful to watch.
Truthfully, this is just the tip of the old iceberg. There are so many fabulous movies out there that move me, inspire me, and change the way I see the world. What about you? What’s your favorite lazy-day go to flick. Let me know!