Friday, August 1, 2008

The Top 10

My best friend Danielle has started a topic over on her awesome blog Mission Improvisational where she discusses her top ten favorite films and encourages readers to list their favorites. I listed mine there with the promise of discussing each film a little more in depth over here. (Way to get more readers on the old blog, eh? I'm dying to reach 200 hits!)

So . . . without any further ado-whack-ado, here's my top 10 list:

1. Tootsie -- It's only been recently that I've come to realize how much I LOVE this movie. It's such a great cast and absolutely hilarious in that "real" sort of way. Of course, my love for Tootsie has sort of ruined my sis's enjoyment of The Closer when the other night I turned to her and said, "Don't you just feel sometimes like Kyra Sedgewick is just doing her best Dorothy Michaels impersonation?"

2. Some Like It Hot -- Confession time. One of my biggest all-time celebrity crushes is on Jack Lemmon. I absolutely adore him. He can seriously do anything -- comedy, drama, farce. It doesn't matter. I "forced" myself to choose just one Jack Lemmon film for this list (even though I had a hard time choosing between this, The Great Race, and The Apartment). I ultimately chose this if only for the sheer comic genius of Jack in drag. Hmmmm . . . my top two films involve men in drag. I wonder what that says about me. (I think we already know *cough* hag *cough*)

3. When Harry Met Sally -- Confession time part deux. I am a sucker for a good romantic comedy. I laugh in all the right places, cry in all the right places, and I'm sure a lot of you will notice the abundance of rom-coms on my list. As you can also see, I tend to gravitate towards the older ones back when men were men and women were broads. (I kid!) When Harry Met Sally, though, has always been the "one" for me. Perhaps it is because I've always sort of identified with Sally Allbright -- the uptight chick who thinks she's low maintenance but is really high maintenance. I remember when I first saw the movie being shocked to see someone on screen who had some of the same quirks I did -- the ordering thing, the checking the mail slot between each letter thing. It was a little odd. And the final scene where Harry declares his love for Sally makes me cry every single time. This is also the movie that introduced me to the music of Harry Connick, Jr. I loved the music so much when I saw this that I went right to Musicland and bought the soundtrack that same day. It still has a spot in my permanent CD rotation.

4. The Philadelphia Story -- Kate, Cary, and Jimmy. Who could resist? My favorite character, though, has always been precocious little sister Dinah. That kid is a riot!

5. Gone With the Wind -- I'd second everything Danielle says about this film in her blog. It is probably the greatest film ever made (Sorry, Citizen Kane). It's a sweeping, beautiful epic. Whenever I used to feel blue, I used to put this movie in and just sit and cry for a good 3 hours. No matter how bad I thought things were, seeing Scarlett deal with war and broken hearts always made me feel better and inspired to face another day. And when you factor in all the drama that went into even making this movie happen (see the play Moonlight and Magnolias), it makes this masterpiece even more gorgeous and inspiring.

6. Almost Famous -- The most recent film on my list, which is sort of sad, isn't it? I remember when I saw this movie, I was just so moved. It came out at a time when I was heavily into Phish and traveling all over the country to see them live, so this portrayal of how vital music could be in a person's life just touched me deeply. I remember just sobbing during the "Tiny Dancer" scene where Patrick Fugit's character says he has to go home, and Kate Hudson (WHO WAS ROBBED OF HER OSCAR) just turns to him and says, "You are home." Those of us out there who had done even a portion of Phish tour know that feeling, I think.

7. Romancing the Stone -- This was my absolute favorite movie in high school and remains on the list out of loyalty and nostalgia. I think within the course of about a year, I saw this movie over 20 times thanks to HBO and videotape. I could recite the entire movie by heart. Kathleen Turner was my idol (and kinda still is, especially after seeing her amazing performance on stage in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?). I loved then (and still do) how this movie is such a brilliant mash-up of romantic comedy and action adventure film. It is flat out awesome -- even with the presence of the alligator biting the dude's hand off, a scene I've never seen without the filter of my fingers in front of my eyes.

8. Waiting for Guffman -- Spinal Tap is great, but I think this tale of community theatre gone desperately delusional is Christopher Guest's finest hour. As someone who has toiled in community theatre, I've seen these people up close and personal, and Guest really didn't even scratch the surface!

9. His Girl Friday -- This movie is sheer perfection and the perfect example for anyone looking for pitch perfect comic timing. I've made kids on my speech team watch this to help with their pacing.

10. Singin' in the Rain -- I had to have a musical, and I went with this one. Despite the fact that the dream sequence in the third act really kills the momentum of the story, there's no denying Gene Kelly's brilliance as a dancer. When I was in college, my roommate and I would frequently put this movie on when finals stress was getting the best of us, fast forward to Donald O'Connor's "Make 'Em Laugh" number, and just laugh our stress away before returning to our books and outlines and papers. That look on Gene Kelly's face when he looks up and smiles as the rain hits his face gives me goosebumps every single time.


dbz said...

omg, tiny dancer scene in Almost Famous ... I know exactly what you're talking about. I keep thinking if I click my heels enough times, I can return home - and it's starting to look like all that clicking just might be working!

Danielle Mari said...

That moment where Kate Hudson wipes that tear from her eye as she smiles through the pain... (((sigh)))... you're right. She was robbed.