In which I couldn’t find Jurassic Park and accidentally grabbed Empire Records instead of the Princess Bride, because I was attempting to blog before drinking coffee. Never again.
There was a hashtag trending on twitter last week, #TopTenFilms, where you would list 10 favorite movies that you love to rewatch. This lead me to think about other “Top Tens” I have…and the more I thought about it, the more I realized it could be a feature on the blog! I figured I could start with what I tweeted – including why I love these films – and then write about other things in lists of ten.
Picking ten movies is nearly impossible, and although there are a lot that I’ve put in my honorary mentions, there’s a reason why these ten are my favorites. I always talk about the rewatchability of a film marking the difference between a great film and a favorite one. I have so much respect for something like There Will Be Blood, but it’s not a film I care to rewatch over and over again. Same for 2001: A Space Odyssey, which absolutely changed my life and the way I see films, but remains a movie I’d prefer to only see in movie theaters. I have made one amendment to my original list, though. Originally, I had listed Annie Hall. Personal feelings about Woody Allen aside for just a moment, it was a monumental movie experience for me. It was the quintessential movie about falling in and out of love, full of all the classic Woody Allen-isms. It was a lesson is smart, witty dialogue, and writing unconventional endings that the audience would love, even if it went against expectations. That said, I haven’t been able to watch it since his Dylan Farrow published her op-ed, and I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to watch it again, so off the list of rewatchable films it goes.
Without further ado, here are my #TopTenFilms:
10. Clueless – There’s something irresistibly endearing about this 90s adaptation of Emma. It’s quotable, fun, and sweet – the perfect movie to watch with friends or in the background while you get some blogging done. I definitely went to a Clueless/Spice World Double Feature Drink-A-Long at the Downtown Independent and it was one of the best movie experiences I’ve ever had.
9. The Empire Strikes Back – Perhaps my favorite of all the Star Wars film, Empire is everything a sequel should aspire to be. It also features my favorite Han Solo moments, Yoda!, and one of the biggest reveals in film history.
8. Jurassic Park – I remember watching this as a little kid and not being allowed to watch past the part with the rain. When I was finally “old enough” to watch the T. Rex scene I thought I was an adult! Ha. It’s everything you could want in a summer blockbuster – interesting characters, a premise that could almost come true, dinosaurs, and Jeff Goldblum. Beth wrote a great post about the film here.
7. The Princess Bride – Is there any movie more quotable and universally loved than The Princess Bride? The way it subverts expectations while still utilizing common fantasy tropes is wonderful. It’s clever while never condescending, and sweet without being mushy. Also, it’s the one movie I like more than the book.
6. (500) Days of Summer - I cannot tell you how many times I’ve watched this film, or how influential it has been on me as an aspiring screenwriter.
5. Harold & Maude – Forever grateful that my best friend introduced me to this gem in high school. It’s the sweetest and weirdest love story, with a perfect script written by Colin Higgins and one of the greatest movie soundtracks of all time. I even wrote a paper on it! I can’t recommend this movie enough.
4. That Thing You Do! – There’s something sugary sweet about this film in a way that makes it irresistible. Guy is my dream guy (ha!) and the soundtrack is, once again, one of my favorites. The rise and fall of a one-hit wonder band is not necessarily an easy story to tell, but fantastic casting and writing makes this movie work for me every time.
3. Reality Bites – You guys already know how much I love this film from this post, but honestly, it remains one of the most influential films I’ve ever seen.
2. The Godfather – Perhaps the only “classic” film I rewatch on a regular basis, The Godfather appeals to me on every level. It’s a crowd-pleaser, since it’s a story about the mafia. It’s a history lesson, tracking the rise of drugs in the 70s. It’s a story about the American dream, and what that means to two different generations. It’s so multi-dimensional that I find something new every time I see it. It’s a master class in writing a movie score that emphasizes your story, on how to light a film, on how to write an epic story spanning generations. I think it’s the greatest film ever made, and I can never get enough of it.
1. Almost Famous – This is my favorite film for so many reasons, but it comes down to the fact that it makes me laugh and cry every time I see it. It features one of my favorites scripts, favorite performances (Kate Hudson as Penny Lane), and favorite soundtracks. It is, to my liking, the perfect movie.
What about you? What are your #TopTenFilms you love to rewatch?
P.S. – If you’re curious, this piece from The Atlantic explains why people love to rewatch television & movies.
Honorary mentions: Wag The Dog, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Wizard of Oz, Good Will Hunting, Mean Girls, The Departed, Pan’s Labyrinth, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Who Framed Rodger Rabbit?, Empire Records…so many! I’ve got a serious movie rewatching addiction.