Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Favorite Flicks

The lethargy that comes with a 4 day weekend is still hanging on, and it's Wednesday. I'm not in the mood for work, and am counting the days until vacation time. As a result, I'm inert when it comes to cleaning the house, cooking, and checking off errands from the to-do list. Instead, I have been sitting on the futon, not going to the gym, and watching more than my fair share of t.v.. DVR is both a glorious blessing and an evil addiction.
Last weekend, during a marathon of eyeball-drying, boob-tube viewing, I saw 'The Family Man' on Cable. This was my second time seeing this movie and it confirmed my memory of what a great and under-rated film this is. It stars Tea Leoni and Nicholas Cage, and is a kind of modern-day twist on 'It's a Wonderful Life'. Basically, Cage's character, Jack, is a very successful and not unhappy, single, investment banker, who gets a glimpse of what his life would have been like if he had followed the girl as opposed to the job. He gets plopped into his alter life, where he would have married his college sweetheart (Leoni) and fathered two children in a small New Jersey town. At first, he wants nothing more than to escape a life of poopy diapers, a sales job at his Father-in-laws' tire store, and the reality of a middle America income. Of course, it is predictable that his character begins to the see the light, and comes to value the intangible riches associated with family life, like the indescribable happiness that comes from the unconditional love of your children and an adoring wife. No doubt, it's a sensitive, sometimes schmaltzy story, but the performances are very believable, and the script is well written. It was done RIGHT. Even my husband got teary-eyed, and still doesn't think of it as a chick flick. After watching this romantic comedy, I wanted more. It's akin to reading a great book, and leaving the last page still hankering to know the characters, and dwelling on memories of their lives, long after shelving a novel. Parenthood, marriage, and age have changed my taste in movies. I no longer want to waste a moment of my time cringing through screen violence, and hunger for a happy ending. Make me cry, but make me laugh too! I want to walk away from a film feeling happy, enlightened, inspired, or thoughtful.
This made me reflect on the some of the movies I've loved in my life. This is by no means a complete list, and I'm sure I've left something out that absolutely belongs in this entry. I know I'm risking embarrassment, judgment, and a possible loss of credibility in the taste department, but hear goes....

Favorite Movies from Childhood/Teenage years:(this list is really random)
Pollyanna - Great inspiration for little girls to be positive and share the art of being 'glad'. This fits right up there with the ideals of 'Little House on the Prairie' and 'Anne of Green Gables'
Star Wars
Valley Girl
Wizard of Oz
The Breakfast Club
Pretty in Pink
Terms of Endearment - Debra Winger made me want to be an actress. I had never bawled so fiercely in a movie theater before seeing this.

Gone With The Wind - despite being almost 4 hours long, I watched this movie three times IN A ROW, when I first rented it. I know you should love Melanie, but Scarlet had my heart the whole time.
Sir Lawrence of Arabia - this epic is the source of all my wanderlust. If it doesn't make you want to see the world, then it is just not in you.

Foreign Films:
L'Auberge Espagnole - Barcelona is amazing, and being in your 20's meeting people from different countries is the best experience ever.
Motorcycle Diaries - my love of travel continues...
Run Lola Run
Seven Samurai
Antonia's Line
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - girl power!
An Affair of Love - fantastically complex look at sex without love
Dersu Uzala - a moving story about friendship between 2 men from different backgrounds.

A Room With The View - has the best sweep-me-off-my-feet kiss on a hillside of flowers
Henry & June - stunning sets and costumes, and incredibly sensual. I saw this movie in college and it made me look at sexuality in a new, more freeing way. I became obsessed with reading Anais Nin and Henry Miller.
Before Sunset (and After Sunrise, too!) - another great travel movie
The Family Man - my new, more adult entry

Office Space - this epitomizes my memories of working in a cubicle, the culture, AND waiting tables. It's a classic.
40 Year Old Virgin - It is soooo good to laugh this hard.

Overall Good movies:
Lost In Translation - Bill Murray at his all-time best
Being John Malkovich
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Good Will Hunting

A final place for Violence:
James Bond, James Bond, James Bond - need I say more? The ultimate man. My love affair began with Roger Moore, who featured in my first 'sexual' dream. I was in 5th or 6th grade - maybe, and we danced...close. That was super x-rated to my young mind
The Godfather series
Pulp Fiction - I watched this right when it came out, in a smoky movie house in Prague, for $1. The audience LOVED it, myself included.
Full Metal Jacket
Crash - this kept me thinking, and lingered for days.

What do you think? Do you have any favorites you'd add to this list? Agreements? Disagreements?


Anonymous mom said...

I've written down some of your favorites that i have not yet seen. I loved;
The Gods Must Be Crazy
Meet me in St. Louie (An old black and white with Judy Garland)
Hellstrum(sp?) Chronicles (Just because your dad and I saw this the evening of our wedding)
Flying Daggers (So beautiful to watch)
More but I can't recall the titles right now.
Good topic!

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Reino said...

I am so not the movie person. I just never have time. I only make time for the G movies. I can tell you all about those;p

Rainbow theater in Tujunga, I went with you to see Terms of Endearment. I do remember that! I also remember you calling, I think it's Nicholson in the movie, an asshole. And we were both crying!

2:40 PM  
Blogger Mom101 said...

Wow, we have virtually the same taste in movies.

I found you via a comment at Mahlers in Tanzania - funny how I have to go all the way to the Eastern coast of Africa to find a fellow Brooklyn mama. Nice to meet you, lady.

7:57 PM  

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