Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My Favorite Movie

I am a hard core movie junkie. There are many movies I've seen multiple times. Many, many, multiple times.

Gone With the Wind? At least thirty times. Casablanca, twenty or so. Pillow Talk with Rock Hudson and Doris Day, just about once a week when I worked the graveyard shift, and it was regularly the early morning movie on TBS. Grease? I lost count somewhere around fifty. And in high school and college, I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show at least a hundred times.

I love the Merchant Ivory films, Remains of the Day, Howard's End, A Room With a View; and the Jane Austen adaptations, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Pride and Prejudice. Amadeus and Dangerous Liasons are two of the best costume dramas I've ever seen.

The Color Purple, Terms of Endearment and Schindler's List are my seven-hankie movies.

Matchpoint and Thank You for Smoking are two recent favorites.

On the lighter end, I loved Raising Arizona, Groundhog Day, Harold and Maude, This is Spinal Tap, Best in Show, National Lampoon's Vacation, Pirates of the Caribbean, There's Something About Mary, and Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Pierce Brosnan was brilliant in the underrated The Matador. That was a wonderful dark comedy and a really fascinating character study.

I will watch anything with Johnny Depp or Mark Ruffalo. I would, in fact, watch them sit in a chair for two hours.

Since becoming a Mom, I've watched lots of kids' movies. Toy Story and Beauty and the Beast are two of my favorites, but Finding Nemo and Shrek come close. (I am looking forward to seeing more first-run grown-up movies, though!)

Dirty Dancing holds a special place in my heart, and so does the corny but hilarious Overboard with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell (which I consider my guiltiest guilty-pleasure movie.)

But if I had to choose, I would say that Jaws is my all-time favorite. I know it backward and forward, inside and out. I love everything about it. The pacing is perfect, the dialogue fantastic. I loved the book, which I read numerous times as well, but in my opinion, the movie outshines it, which I rarely think is the case when it comes to adaptations.

When I give writing classes at my local library, I use Jaws to illustrate motivation and conflict, as well as the three-act structure. I literally can't watch anything else when I know it is on, even though I own two versions of the movie that I can play anytime. Is there anything better than hearing that music? Da dun. Da dun. Da dun da dun da dun dunnnnnnn!!! Even after all this time, the special effects hold up pretty well,

I'm sure as soon as I post this I'll think of a dozen more I wish I would have included...

Donna Birdsell

9 comments:

Maureen said...

If we're flipping channels looking for something to watch and Jaws is on my husband can never resist watching it and saying "We're going to need a bigger boat."

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Oh,Donna, you chose some wonderful ones! But let me add--how about Love Actually? I could watch that over and over. I love how all the stories intertwine.
And because I know it's just between us--even though I'm all grown up and a serious journalist and all that, I have to admit to a true fondness for: Bring It On.
Ok, yes, you're laughing. But it's hilarious, well-written, has a real theme and life lessons.
Don't ever tell.
Oh, and Clueless.

Carol said...

Those are some really good movies. Overboard is one of my favorites, too, and I also like Ghost.

deseng said...

You mentioned some great ones! Here are some of my favorites,

-The Wedding Planner with J.Lopez & Matthew McHaunhey (I don't remember how to spell his name)
-While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock & Bill Pullman
-Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts
-Somethings Gotta Give with Jack Nicholsen & Diane Keaton
-Notting Hill with Julia Roberts & Hugh Grant
-Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve & Jane Seymore
-Star Wars, the first movie
-All the Harry Potter movies

I love romance and fantasy/science fiction. There are even more but my list would be very long!

Emma said...

I will turn to anything with Doris Day or Cary Grant. One of my favorite movies of hers is "Midnight Lace" with Rex Harrison. "Charade" is one of my favorite Grant movies. I love to watch Turner Classic Movies and look for a good old mystery.
Nothing allows for my escape from the everyday, which is never "the everyday," like a great (mystery) movie.

Emma said...

Hi Carol.
My sister and I lived together for five years. Our favorite movie was "Overboard." One Thanksgiving we were driving home to our Mom's and we recited the entire movie on the drive. We knew every line by heart. One of our favorites is "I...just...ate a bug." "Keep your mouth closed!" Who knows why? but it makes us laugh every time!

Donna Birdsell said...

Yes! Yes!! Clueless and Notting Hill and Pretty Woman, and Charade...Dang. There's just not enough room in cyberspace!

DB

Virginia said...

Well I will have to go with Pretty Women and Dirty Dancing are my all time favorite movies, and I have always loved Gone With The Wind.

photoquest said...

I also saw Grease countless times Saturday Night Fever Bridges of Madison County UP Close and Personal with Michelle Piefer and Robert Redford together, they were really good together in this movie. My favorite but may seem lame was Meet the Faulkers Robert Deniro is hillarious