4 May 2011, 16:08
We all have days that don’t feel quite right. Maybe you’re bored, sick or lethargic. Perhaps you just got some bad news that has left you feeling slack-jawed & useless. Maybe you’re worried about your sister, or fighting with your husband. Perhaps it’s just raining outside, like it is here today!
Whatever the case, sometimes you just want to indulge in a little escapism. So, I’ve put together this quite ridiculous list of movies to watch when you’re feeling not-so-good. They all give me a reason to smile & laugh. They always work to elevate my sucky moods, & I hope they will work for you too!
(Oh, I should warn you… I have dreadful taste in movies!)
This was my favourite movie when I was an angsty teenager! It’s a loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Taming Of The Shrew set in modern-day Seattle, Washington. But there’s no,
“Iwis it is not halfway to her heart.
But if it were, doubt not her care should be
To comb your noodle with a three-legged stool,
And paint your face and use you like a fool”
here. Instead, the “shrew” is a pissed-off riot grrrl, & her would-be paramour is Heath Ledger! Holler back! One of the highlights is aforementioned riot grrrl dancing on a kitchen table to Notorious B.I.G. The soundtrack is great too, & the movie features live performances by Letters To Cleo & Save Ferris. It’s deliciously 90’s!
Okay, this one stars Joseph Gordon Levitt too! Pure coincidence, I assure you, though he is good!
I fell in love with (500) Days Of Summer immediately. The way it’s shot is beautiful & innovative, the story is sweet & original, & you adore the characters from the very beginning.
It’s a total indie rock love story. Summer & Tom initially bond over their shared love of The Smiths, go record-shopping & have adventures. Tom is in love, but Summer doesn’t believe in love. & so it goes…
It is so wonderful. Honestly. I promise you’ll enjoy it!
Firstly, I think this movie is responsible for many, many aspects of my adolescence. Secondly, don’t you think Morticia & Gomez have the perfect relationship? Thirdly, Christina Ricci is a boss. Have you ever seen an 11 year old command a screen like that? I haven’t!
If you’re not familiar, The Addams Family started as a cartoon in The New Yorker in the 1930s, & became a television show in the 1960s. The Addams Family film brought the characters into a more modern setting, with the same delightful weirdness everyone had come to expect.
Addams Family Values is fantastic too: Wednesday & Pugsley go to summer camp. You can only imagine, right?
P.S. The Addams Family is my favourite pinball machine, too.
It wouldn’t be any exaggeration to say that this is one of the most visually arresting films ever made. The super-saturation of green & red was so unlike anything else at the time, & of course, Audrey Tatou was absolutely precious in her role as Amélie Poulain, lonely romantic & slightly gormless do-gooder.
It’s a great movie. Amélie works in a café & lives a normal, thoroughly unspectacular life. One day she finds a keepsake hidden in the wall of her bathroom, & she sets out to find the original owner of the little tin box. When she sees his response — she watches from afar — she is so overwhelmed that she decides to continue doing good deeds. Then she falls in love with a cute boy who rides a scooter, & works on a ghost train. Yep. Pretty adorable.
The story is set in Paris, so there’s eye-candy aplenty, & yes, it is a French film. Amélie is one movie that I must INSIST you see, even if you don’t usually enjoy subtitled films!
Click the CC for subtitles!
This is the ultimate movie about loving the band. In Almost Famous, we follow the journey of William, a 15 year old music writer whose articles for the school newspaper get him noticed by Rolling Stone. Before he knows what’s what, he has escaped the clutches of his overbearing mother, & finds himself on tour with up-&-coming rock band Stillwater. It’s the ’70s, & let’s just say, shit gets wild. Groupies, drugs, gigs, hotel rooms, all-nighters… & of course, the quest to get a good story.
This is the role which catapaulted Kate Hudson’s career. She is amaaaaazing as Penny Lane. But all the acting is superb, from Philip Seymour Hoffman to Billy Crudup to Zooey Deschanel & Jason Lee. Oh, Almost Famous also features the one & only Elton John singalong you’ll EVER need.
This movie is about cheerleading, high school, & falling in love with the cute-but-sensitive punk rock boy wearing a t-shirt of The Clash. Surely, that tells you everything you need to know! This is relevant to my interests!!!
Don’t judge the movie based on the trailer, because quite frankly, the trailer is the pits. It also features a bunch of stuff that is NOT in the movie?! Whatever, whatever, all you need to know is that this movie is fantastic & the cheerleading is epic. Eliza Dushku is in it too, & she is a good-lookin’ girl.
By the way, if you ever saw Hackers (see below), remember that annoying kid who is the cause of all the trouble? Yeah, he grew up to be “Cliff” in Bring It On! What a difference a few years makes, huh? (Um, here he is playing Hall & Oates...)
I’m going to tell you straight off the bat, this is not a good movie. It is pretty dire, in fact. I saw it a few weeks ago & tweeted,
“Watching Burlesque (the movie)... Sparkly, sparkly brainrot!”
However, it is quite enjoyable in all its silliness. It’s worth it just for the make-up, false eyelashes, costumes & general sparkliness. Also to marvel at the fact that Cher hasn’t aged a day!
Warning: Watching this with a (straight) man in the room will probably cause him intense pain. Spare your menfolk!
But I’m A Cheerleader is a retro-fabulous story about Megan, a lesbian cheerleader living in suburban hell. After an intervention by her “friends” & family, they convince her to check in to a residential inpatient therapy care to cure her of her lesbianism.
As you have probably gathered, it is immensely camp, colourful & cute. Clea DuVall is a total badass (like always), & RuPaul plays a once-gay-now-straight camp counsellor, complete with short-shorts!
Overall, it’s a film about accepting & loving who you are, despite what some of society may say about you. If you’re having a rough time, this movie will definitely help you feel better!
Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore & Lucy Liu are a top-secret crime-fighting trio, complete with sassy outfits & major action sequences. Do you really need to know anything else?!
It’s the perfect movie for a Sunday afternoon, & the sequel, Charlie’s Angels – Full Throttle, ain’t half-bad either. Well, you know. If you’re looking for something immensely light-hearted. (Charlie’s Angels – Full Throttle also gets points for the inclusion of Demi Moore & Justin Theroux, both of whom look better than eeeeeever… What a sleaze I am!)
What can I say about Clueless that hasn’t been said already? Quite frankly, Clueless is the movie that defined a generation of mall kids, & who, at one point or another, didn’t want to Cher Horowitz? (I even started matching my bubble gum to my outfits like she did…)
I just read the Wikipedia page — I had no idea Clueless was based on Emma! Ha!
With great styling, sweet locations & a fantastic cast including Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd (l-o-v-e!) & Brittany Murphy (R.I.P., girl), you’ll be rollin’ with your homies in no time.
I didn’t know what to expect of this movie. I am typically skeptical of anything which comes with major hype — I shunned Harry Potter & Lord of the Rings for the same reason — but I got over my own nonsense, & really enjoyed Eat Pray Love. There, I said it! I even bought the book afterwards! It’s official: I’m uncool. I’m alright with that.
I think this movie is probably compulsory viewing for quarter- or mid-life crisis sufferers, & I suppose anyone undergoing their Saturn return... If you feel dissatisfied with your life or you wonder where all the joy went, this might be a good place to start. We can’t all take off on a jaunt across the world, but this movie has some good lessons to teach you about getting outside of yourself & seeing the world from a new perspective. Plus, it’s like total travel porn! Who could object to that?
If you have even the most minute, trivial, passing interest in Banksy & what he does, you should see this film. It’s a documentary — some would say mockumentary — about street art, & some of the greatest street artists alive today.
It also charts the rise of Mr Brainwash, who is maybe not even a real person. Maybe. It’s a strange tale, for sure, but it is utterly engaging, pretty funny, & very inspiring.
So, one of the best things about this movie is that the Dracula musical is actually something Jason Segel worked on for years! Way, way, way before this movie was even dreamed of, Jason thought that staging & performing a Dracula musical was going to be the way he launched his career. Thankfully, movies came along instead… but isn’t that so funny?!
The story is a simple one. Thankfully, it’s also hilarious. Jason Segel plays Peter, a composer whose famous girlfriend, Sarah Marshall (played by Kristen Bell), dumps him unexpectedly. He is instantly plunged into misery, until he’s convinced by his half-brother to take a trip to Hawaii. Of course, when he checks into the hotel, who could be staying there but Sarah Marshall… & her new boyfriend. Tragedy/hilarity ensues.
This movie also gave me newfound respect for Russell Brand, who is hilarious as Aldous Snow, playboy, lothario & British rock star. It was also my first introduction to Mila Kunis, who I think is gorgeous & super-funny. I LOVE this movie! Watch it or perish!
Bill Murray, I love you. This was my favourite movie as a child; my parents tell me I used to sit in front of the television & recite along with the script. What a nut! I’m sure Ghostbusters marked the beginning of my obsession with all things weird & supernatural, & of course, New York City!
If you haven’t seen Ghostbusters before, you have my deepest sympathy, & I command you to Netflix it (or whatever) as soon as possible! If you have seen it but it’s been a while, please rest assured that this is one movie which has stood the test of time, & is just as good today as it was in 1984!
It was the end of the 1950s. Girls wore long skirts & boys wore track jackets. Everyone was nice & well-behaved… Until Danny Zucco & his gang, the T-Birds, rolled onto campus. (Dun dun dunnnnnnn!)
John Travolta as Danny Zucco in this movie is pretty much my dream man. He rocks a leather jacket, knows how to work on cars, & he wears pink socks. Who could say no to that? But unfortunately, Danny has a reputation to uphold, so when he is unexpectedly reunited with his long-lost summer romance, Sandy, played by Olivia Newton John, he plays it cool… & she storms off.
What follows is a classic boy-getting-the-girl movie, complete with musical numbers, a prom, a drive-in & a flying car… It doesn’t get much better than that, my friend!
Hackers was the first movie I ever saw Angelina Jolie in, & let’s just say, it made an impact. Jonny Lee Miller is in Hackers too — in fact, he was her first husband. (Remember their wedding? White t-shirts with each others’ names written on them in blood? Leather pants? That’s the one!)
Despite the fact that every grumpy sys-admin I know (can you believe I used to know a lot of them?!) used to do major facepalms over the technical inaccuracies of the movie, I say, why let facts get in the way of a good story?! Hackers is delightfully vacuous. Plus, it’s set in NYC at the height of its cyberpunk phase. & there are lots of rollerblades. Awesome.
High Fidelity is based on the book by the same name by Nick Hornby, who is kind of a big deal. Both the book & the film are equally hilarious & excellent.
Rob is music-obsessed & a bit of a miserable bastard. When his latest girlfriend leaves him, he takes us on a tour back through his past relationships, trying to make sense of where they all go wrong. The humour is dry & acerbic, & exposes a lot of realities about dating, expectations & what to do when love goes awry. It’s also one of my favourite movies of ALL TIME.
I didn’t want to like this one, but I did. Oh, I DID! It’s your bog standard romantic comedy — Kate Hudson plays a sassy magazine columnist called Andie, & Matthew McConaughey plays a guy called Ben who takes his shirt off with alarming regularity. I mean… an advertising executive! Andie is writing a magazine article about how to drive men away, while Ben’s next client hinges on whether or not he can make a woman fall in love with him. Of course, they meet, & undergo a push-pull relationship with the usual highs & lows.
It’s pretty predictable & unrealistic, but hey, it’s Hollywood. & I like it. So there!
Paul Rudd & Jason Segel AGAIN! I Love You, Man is about Peter, a real estate agent who just got engaged. While his fiancee is busy calling everyone she knows to tell them the news, he doesn’t call anyone. He has never really had any close male friends. He’s faced with the fact that he doesn’t have anyone to be his Best Man, & so he embarks on a mission to make some male friends.
After several missteps, he meets Sydney, played by Jason Segel. Sydney is a loose unit, a bit of a drifter, who lives in a “man cave” & basically does whatever he wants all the time. As the two guys forge a friendship, Peter learns to be less tight-laced & finds the friend he never even knew he needed… Altogether now, awwwwww!
Paul Rudd & Jason Segel have great on-screen chemistry, & the writing is excellent. You’ll laugh. I promise.
Both of these documentaries follow Madonna on her world tours, & they are reeeeeally different. In Bed With Madonna was filmed in 1990. She was dating Warren Beatty, doing the Blond Ambition tour & she’s really at the height of her popularity. Yes, she’s arrogant & impetuous, but she’s also fascinating. You see her on the road, in hotel rooms, hanging out with her dancers & dealing with celebrity fans (like Kevin Costner!) backstage.
I’m Going To Tell You A Secret is brighter & lighter, but also goes deeper. Fourteen years have passed, & she isn’t so interested in stroking her ego anymore. I’m Going To Tell You A Secret shows her Reinvention Tour, as well as giving us insights into home life with her kids & (now ex-) husband Guy Ritchie, studying Kabbalah & asking lots of questions. I love ‘em both, though In Bed With Madonna is definitely more scandalous!
Julie’s life is boring, so she decides to start a blog & cook her way through Julia Child’s cookbook. Awesome! I love the concept already. Even better, IT’S TRUE! This really did happen, & she really did get a book & movie deal! This film was actually the first ever to be based on a blog. How fabulous!
So, the story follows both Julie & Julia in their cooking adventures, Julie in present day New York, & Julia in 1950s Paris. Meryl Streep kicks major ass as Julia Child, & she was nominated for (& won) oodles of awards for the role.
I don’t even like to heat up soup & I found this movie totally enjoyable, so don’t worry if you’re not a budding student of Le Cordon Bleu. There is hope for us!
Karl Lagerfeld is my favourite living eccentric. He is overwhelmingly talented, blessed with massive amounts of curiousity about the world & even better, he has the most robust work ethic… ever.
Lagerfeld Confidential follows him around Paris & gives us an insight into what it’s like to be Karl. I think this Amazon review says it all…
Ultimately, one feels, there is something in ordinary human life, and in people, that fills him with absolute dread and revulsion. This is interesting and doesn’t get enough treatment, though KL is very happy to talk about it at length. One strength of the film, and probably unconscious on the part of the director, is that the world KL moves through has a great ordinariness and deadness about it: essentially unappealing decors of his homes; settings for his fashion shows that feel like a hip nightclub around closing time, when everything is dirty, tired, spent, and smelling of stale liquor. Essentially, KL’s world is not glamorous, and he is honest enough to admit to it. It’s an existence that has most appeal in the photograph of it, edited and digitally corrected to the max. In short, it’s a tough, creative, determined existence, resulting in an extreme accomplishment, but dead somewhere at an essential core.
I adore Baz Luhrmann, the Australian director of Moulin Rouge. I would even go so far as to call him a visionary, because his films are so unlike any others. He also did Romeo + Juliet... Who could forget Leonardo DiCaprio smoking a cigarette on the beach to the sounds of Radiohead? Not most teenage girls!
Moulin Rouge is pure fun & opulence, with lots of musical numbers & incredible sights along the way. Based in Paris in 1899, Christian, played by Ewan McGregor, falls in love with Satine, played by Nicole Kidman. Satine is a courtesan who works at the Moulin Rouge in Montmartre, & of course, their love cannot be! Love is bad for business, you know.
Moulin Rouge won Oscars for art direction & costume design, with good reason. Entertainment Weekly called it a “trippy pop culture pastiche”, & I think they were bang-on!
I think the major reason why I enjoy Mrs. Doubtfire so much is that it was released when I was 10 years old. I was not a very critical audience at that time. But HONESTLY, I do love Robin Williams, especially when he presses his face into cakes & stuff.
This movie just makes me really happy. Oh, I also love it when he throws a lime at Pierce Brosnan’s head. Aahahahah.
Mary-Kate Olsen plays Roxanne Ryan, a serial truant who decides to go to NYC for the day instead of going to school. Her twin sister, Jane, is forced to join her, & much mayhem ensues.
...Um, how can I sell this to you? It’s Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, Eugene Levy, a Chinese Crested dog, New York City, & you get to see both the twins with fierce weave… ?!
Thought that might do it!
Possibly the best movie ever. Pee-Wee’s prize possession, his bike, gets stolen, so he goes on a journey across America to get it back. Along the way, he falls in with a biker gang, befriends an ex-con, catches a ride with a ghost trucker, & rescues animals from a burning pet shop…
It was Tim Burton’s first movie & it’s GREAT! GREAT, GREAT, GREAT! I love Pee-Wee. & his bike.
Charlie is a beat poet from San Francisco who is notoriously suspicious of his girlfriends. As soon as things look like they might get serious, he breaks up with them for the strangest reasons. “She was in the mafia,” for example. Or, “She smelled like soup”.
Now he’s met this beautiful butcher, Harriet, & he’s determined not to be paranoid. But could she be the BLACK WIDOW, the serial killer who mates & kills? You’ll never know unless you watch!
Also, Mike Myers’ portrayal of the Scottish father is too good.
Haley Graham is a badass BMX-rider living in the world’s most boring suburb. But when she accidentally rides her bike into someone’s living room, she’s sent to gymnastics school — where everyone hates her.
This is pretty much Bring It On, but for gymnastics enthusiasts. I like both sports equally so it’s all good by me! Jeff Bridges plays a bizarre gymnastics coach, & there are enough bright colours & wild acrobatics to keep you captivated for a couple of hours. Also, if you ever needed motivation to get to the gym, this movie should do it… !
If you haven’t seen this, I don’t really know what to do with you. Suffice to say, you need to see The Hangover, especially if you plan on going to Las Vegas EVER.
Three guys wake up after a bachelor party with absolutely no recollection of what happened the night before. There’s a baby in the closet, one guy is missing a tooth, there’s a tiger in the bathroom, & the groom-to-be has disappeared… So they have to retrace their steps & put the story together.
I enjoyed The Hangover way more than I expected I would! You just might like it too.
If you’ve ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes at Vogue — & The Devil Wears Prada didn’t satiate your curiousity — this film is for you. It follows the production of the September issue of the magazine, which is always the biggest of the year.
Witness Sienna Miller being shot for the cover! Watch Grace Coddington get frustrated as Anna Wintour rejects all her suggestions! See Andre Leon Talley make surreal, sweeping statements!
It’s not very juicy, but it’s a fun little peek behind the doors of the biggest fashion magazine in the world.
It’s Wayne’s World! Wayne’s World! Party time! Excellent!
Wayne & Garth live in Aurora, Illinois. They have a cable access show, they like going to metal shows, & lip-syncing to Bohemian Rhapsody. But what happens when a creepy television executive picks up their show? TROUBLE!
I’m also a fan of Alice Cooper’s cameo.
Carl is grumpy & closed-off. He says no to every opportunity presented to him, & all he ever does is sit on the couch & watch movies. One day, he meets an old coworker who has changed his life. Carl goes with his coworker to this seminar, & he becomes a “yes man” — he has to say yes to everything.
I’m so into this movie! Zooey Deschanel is great as the kooky girlfriend, & Jim Carrey is predictably ridiculous & awesome as a guy who pushes it to the limit. More people need to see this movie!