This Week: 13 Movies I Love, in no particular order.
1. My Girl. I remember watching this with my best friend when it came out, and we bawled and bawled and bawled. I laughed as well, particularly at lines like "Go away, and don't come back for 5 to 7 days!". If you don't know what I'm talking about, you need to see it.
2. Empire Records. You just really can't go wrong. It's the epitome of the 90s...grungy, angsty teens/early 20s beautiful people work in record store that is being bought out by mega corporation. Angsty employees decide to rebel with an impromptu concert fundraiser after one of them gambles away the savings in Vegas. Side plot: hot guy with full lips and long-ish hair is in love with hot but sheltered perfect girl (Liv Tyler), but SHE has plans to lose her virginity to Sexy Rexy. Oh, AND it has Ethan Embry in it, which ALWAYS makes for a good movie.
3. Jawbreaker. This is a cult classic, starring Rose McGowan and the Noxema Girl who's now married to McSteamy. It's the classic high school campy drama complete with bitchy chicks in short skirts and an ugly-duckling makeover. But it's snarkier and smarter than most.
4. Finding Neverland. This is a fabulous, amazing, poignant, touching movie. Johnny Depp in one of his finest performances. Kate Winslet is etheral and amazing as always. And little Freddie Highmore is INSANELY good. This is a movie you NEED to watch...bring tissues.
5. What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Johhny Depp again, as the adult son of an incredibly obese woman who is homebound. He takes care of the family, which includes Leonardo DiCaprio as a mentally ill teen who hides in trees and climbs water towers. Enter Juliette Lewis as the out-of-towner who Johnny's character falls for, as well as the most interesting use of a crane in a movie.
6. This Boy's Life. If #5 doesn't convince you that Leonardo is a good actor, this movie should. He costars with Robert De Niro and Ellen Barkin as his evil step-dad and his desperate mom. Look, Leonardo is 19 in this movie (although he looks 13) and he holds his own acting with De Niro. That has to say something about his true acting abilities. The movie is based on a memoir, and is just stunning and sad and amazing and beautiful. There are some gritty parts and some parts that are hard to watch. Another movie you want to bring tissues to.
7. The Squid and the Whale. This is another cult classic...or, someday it will be. It's a hilarious and jaded look at an intellectual New England family going through a divorce. The acting, the dialogue, the amazing comedic timing of even the youngest actor...it's not to be missed. Ignore the ridiculous title and rent this sucker.
8. Love, Actually. Just...sigh. I love this movie, actually.
9. Dear Frankie. This one also is a tear jerker, but a feel good one. It's acted fabulously, the story is just great...it'll leave you feeling warm.
10. Brokedown Palace. Claire Danes and Kate Beckinsale star as two girls taking 'the trip of a lifetime' to Thailand. They end up in a prison for smuggling drugs. This follows their struggle to gain their freedom with the help of an American attorney, as well as the metamorphasis of their friendship. It's kind of almost sorta a chick flick, but it's got appeal to all audiences.
11. Best in Show. I know a lot of people would cite other Christopher Guest films as his best, but I think Best is Show is my favorite. This movie is insanely funny and witty and just a good time. The cast is totally on point and the script is killer. It may help that I love dogs...
12. Stealing Beauty. Another Liv Tyler movie from the mid-90s. She plays a teen who goes to a small Italian village where her deceased mother spent a lot of time. She reunites with people her mother wrote about in her diary, and goes on a mission of sorts to lose her virginity. The story is good, but the cinematography (for mid-90s) was so captivating.
13. Dazed and Confused. Yeah, it's not exactly oscar-worthy. The acting in some places downright sucks, and the plot is...uh...a bunch of senior boys in high school chase down freshman boys to beat their asses with paddles while a bunch of other people get high and plan a party. But with quotable quotes like "Fry like bacon, you little freshman piggies!", "Wipe that face off your head, bitch!", "Dominany male monkey mother fucker.", and "You cool, man?"....how could you even THINK of passing this gem up? Rent it. Watch it. Laugh. Watch again and get some more of the jokes you missed the first time. You potheads and former potheads will want to have the pause button handy so you can laugh knowingly in that pothead throaty laugh you have as you retell stories about, "This one time, when we were smoking a bowl..."
Have some favorite movies that didn't make my list? Share them with me, but they better be good...and don't even THINK I will publish your comment if they star Jim Carrey or Nicholas Cage.
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