Every once in a while at work, my boss or I will make a movie reference when we're talking to the younger members of our team. Most of the time, they’ll say they have never seen the movie in question, so I joke that I'm going to make a an educational list of movies they really need to check out.
Well, here it is. But these aren’t really the serious films that I appreciate because they make some sort of statement about the world, or are marvelous examples of technical craft. These also aren’t the action films or cheesy disaster movies that are just plain fun to watch (Pierce Bronson v. volcanoes, The Rock v. earthquakes). These are just movies that I love and find myself watching over and over again.
In no particular order other than how they popped into my mind at 5:00 am when I can’t go back to sleep. I’ve been wanting to start making Top Ten lists, but I just couldn’t narrow this one down.
The English Patient. It’s such a haunting, lovely book, and Anthony Minghella picked up the mood perfectly to make a stunningly beautiful film.
A Fish Called Wanda. John Cleese makes an surprisingly adorable romantic hero (bonus points if you know where his character's name originated). Add Kevin Kline, Jamie Lee Curtis and Michael Palin to the mix, and you've got comedy perfection. Just don't call me stupid.
Pulp Fiction/Kill Bill. I just couldn't pick between my favorite Tarantino films, but either way, Uma Thurman is pretty freaking awesome.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Yes, it soft-pedals prostitution and Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi is offensively racist from a modern perspective, but oh, George Peppard is adorable.
Sense and Sensibility. While I love P&P, Elinor Dashwood is the Jane Austen heroine I identify with the most.
Much Ado About Nothing. Possibly the most accessible Shakespeare. Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson at her most luminous. And Benedick and Beatrice are pretty much the model for every rom-com couple since 1598.
Grosse Point Blank. Like The Breakfast Club, this is pretty much microtargeted on my generation. Nobody shot anyone at my 10-year reunion, but other than that…
The Thomas Crown Affair (the 90s remake). Smart and sexy as hell, and after 20-something years, I still want EVERY SINGLE OUTFIT Michael Kors designed for Rene Russo.
An Officer and a Gentleman. I’ve seen it a million times, and I still go mushy at the end when he sweeps her up in his arms. Every damn time.
Steel Magnolias. When I’m old, I will be Clairee. If you’re a woman in the South, this movie pretty much has a quote for every situation in life.
The Breakfast Club. This is high school. And it's everything.
Almost Famous. Sex drugs and rock 'n' roll through sweetly funny, rose-tinted glasses.
Hope and Glory. WWII-era London from the viewpoint of a 10-year-old boy. Who knew the Blitz could be so funny.
Dangerous Liaisons. Deliciously, viciously, elegantly mean. Glenn Close and John Malkovich are super villains in 17th century clothing who wield words as weapons.
Chocolat. Juliette Binoche livens up a stuffy little French Village in the 1950s. And yes, that is Trinity from The Matrix in the shirtwaist and pearls.