30 April 2008

Top Ten Movies for a Sunday Afternoon

(These are all movies I love, but don't own, because their proliferation on basic cable is enough to ensure that I see them at least a few times a year.)

10) Mermaids

Did you know that I operated under the assumption that Bob Hoskins and Danny DeVito were the same person for TWENTY YEARS before I discovered the truth? Okay, so they don't look anything alike NOW, but seriously:

I mean, come on, they're practically twins. Okay, so, maybe they don't look EXACTLY alike, and maybe one of them is English and an accomplished actor of stage and screen and the other is Danny DeVito, but to my preteen eyes (and, uh, embarassingly, high school eyes, and early years of college eyes, which is the point when I finally realized that Bob Hoskins was not just Danny DeVito really acting the shit out of something and being vaguely sexy while doing so), they looked exactly the same. So for years I thought this movie was a Danny DeVito movie, and yet I still loved it.

FFS, it has CHER! And teenaged Winona Rider, which is the Very Best Winona possible! And tiny little Christina Ricci, who looks remarkably less bobble-headed at this young age. And Winona thinks you can get pregnant from KISSING. Isn't that quaint? Also, it features perhaps the Greatest Playroom Ever Created, with the under-the-sea mural and the little revolving lamp. (fun fact: while unsuccessfully googling to find a photo of that room, I came across Mermaids fanfiction. Which just proves my point that you really can find fanfiction for any damn thing.)

9) Pretty Woman

I first saw Pretty Woman during my 11th birthday slumber party. Now, some might question the decision of showing a bunch of young, pre-sexualized girls a movie about a hooker, but I feel that Pretty Woman has tons of important life lessons to impart, life lessons which help young girls navigate the often cruel and treacherous terrain of boy-girl interactions. For example: Life Lesson Number One: always carry condoms in your thigh-high boots. I cannot tell you how many times this has saved me from STD- or baby-contraction. Life Lesson Number Two: always hold out for more money from people you're negotiating with. "I would have stayed for two thousand." "I'd have paid four." Oh! Vivian! Your impestuous nature has led you astray! Life Lesson Number Three: if you are low on cash, the garnishes at a bar make for acceptable snacks. Life Lesson Number Four: Always work in a job you enjoy doing, no matter how much it pays. If you don't, you end up a blowhard who lays down way too much money on a hooker and has some weird obsession with people not answering phones. Life Lesson Number Five: It's only love if you kiss on the lips!

Plus, it has one of the all-time great female characters: Kit DeLuca. My adoration of Kit DeLuca (plus my weird crush on Enrico Colantoni) is basically what made me watch every episode of Just Shoot Me that ever aired. All I wanted was for Maya to say "Cinder-fuckin-rella," just once, but she never did. SEVEN YEARS of David Spade, Laura San Giacomo. I hope you can live with yourself.

8) Mother May I Sleep With Danger?

Best.Lifetime.Movie.EVER. I'm not sure if you can even own this movie - and I'm not sure who would want to - but anytime I see it in the tv guide on Sunday afternoon, I have to watch it. It has everything a good Lifetime movie needs: transparent characters, low-budge-scenery, a Mother Who Knows Best, and an actress best known for her role on a teen drama, now desperately trying to make a name for herself beyond learning-disabled-characters-who-aren't-allowed-to-graduate-because-they-accidentally-got-drunk-at-Prom.

7) Clueless

Clueless is sort of a shameful addition to this list, because of course I SHOULD own it. However, much in the way I don't own any of my absolute all-time favorite songs due to the risk of oversaturating myself, I can't own this movie. I would watch it ALL THE TIME, if I did. Like, I am not even kidding, every day. I'd become That Girl Who Watches Clueless Every Morning Before Work, and then my entire day's dialogue would be peppered with "Barneys" and "Baldwins" and "I had two mochaccinos and I feel like ralphing" and I would be even more obnoxious than I already am, which is, let's face it, pretty obnoxious. And, of course, I'd feel like none of my after-school activities wardrobe choices would be good enough.

Also, if I owned Clueless, like, IN MY HOUSE, I'd really never go out and meet people, because who could be more awesome than Paul Rudd as Josh? Absolutely no one, that's who. He cares about the environment! Loves Shakespeare! Participates in dance parties! He even sees the wisdom in shaving off his douchey facial hair far sooner than most boys his age (with Cher's help and guidance, of course).

So, instead, I wait to see it on TBS or TNT on Sunday afternoons, clap and jump up and down when I find it on the tv guide and settle down to spend some time with The Very Finest Literary Adaptation Ever.

And, while in that vein,

6) Emma

My love affair with this movie is well-known on this blog, and I shan't get into it again, except to say that when I first saw Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley tell Emma "badly done," I knew what it was to swoon.


I actually DID own this movie for most of my life (first in VHS format, then the DVD), but someone borrowed the dvd in college and forgot to return it, and I've never repurchased it. Heathers is sort of a strange addition to this blog at well as it's always heavily edited for tv, and you are better off just seeing the theatrical version. However, I credit Heathers' long-standing spot at 4pm on Sundays on TBS with its popularity among the zeitgeist of this nation. When even the lamest of lame people, like my brother, can bust out an "I love my dead, gay son" reference, you know a movie's reached the heart and soul of this country. Also it is, bar none, the most true-to-life movie about high school ever written.

4) Who Framed Roger Rabbit

A) See above, in re: Bob Hoskins/Danny DeVito.
B) You have to admit that, given all animation and effects are done by hand, it's a really fucking amazing technical achievement.
C) Has the best line ever uttered by a femme fatale: "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way."

3) Howard the Duck

Don't judge me. I was six, and I loved Lea Thompson and I thought ducks were cute and I was obsessed with aliens. And, apparently, bestiality.

Don't judge me, I said!

2) Joe Versus the Volcano

Okay, yes. I could have picked from any number of Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks films. Sleepless in Seattle? Love that film! You've Got Mail? Um . . . legitimately like that film! Well, love the scenery in the film, anyway! And Parker Posey! Love her. (Whoa, I just realized I managed to get through a whole Top Ten list about films and not have one with my Life Coach and fellow Mississippian, Parker Posey. I think that's because I own almost all of her movies.) But if I'm being completely honest, Joe Versus the Volcano wipes the floor with any of the other films, and a hell of a lot of films in general. Last week at lunch, I said to someone, "Tom Hanks has done one good film, and that's 'Big'." I totally forgot about JVtV because, in truth, I forget it's a Tom Hanks film! That's how much I love it! (I have . . . issues with Tom Hanks. His face is the face of a gummy bear. A melting gummy bear. I find him uncomfortable to watch. Have he and Renee Zelwegger done a film together? They have, haven't they? Those two . . . should avoid mating.)

Joe Versus the Volcano is an amazing film to watch on Sunday afternoons, because it allows for a little pre-Monday wish fulfillment. Don't we all dread going into our boring corporate offices on Monday, even if we otherwise enjoy our jobs? (I'm just saying, color, Unnamed Company That Employs Me. It's a crazy concept, I know, to decorate with items not in greyscale, but it just might work! Look into it.) Don't we dream of being mis-diagnosed with a brain cloud and just deciding to say, "eff it, I'm going to throw myself in a volcano?" Of being adrift on the endless sea at the ends of the earth with a giant moon filling up our vision and finally realizing the beauty of being present in this world? "Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life."

And even without all the inspirational nonsense, it's just so funny! The luggage guy! Shopping montages! (I love shopping montages, trust.) Meg Ryan, all charming and incorrigible. Tom Hanks, not making that face he usually makes. I just love, love, love this movie and anytime it comes on, I know it's going to be a good day.

1) The Cutting Edge

True Story! This past weekend, I was lazing about my parents' house Sunday afternoon and watching The Cutting Edge on TNT. This is the REAL LIFE STORY of the conversation between myself and the woman who gave birth to me, although how you could even tell that we're related is beyond my comprehension:

Her: "What is this, what you're watching?"
Me (in my best "duh, mom" voice I perfected in grade school.): "Um, The Cutting Edge, hello."
Her: "What's it about?"
Me: "WHAT? Have you never seen The Cutting Edge after TWENTY EIGHT years of being my mother?"
Her: "No, I must have missed it."
Me: "Well, you see, Kate, that's Moira Kelly. You know her from The West Wing."
Her: "Oh, yeah. okay."
Me: "Yeah, I hated her in that. ANYWAY. So Kate is this spoiled ice princess who has figure-skated all her life in the hopes of winning the Olympic Gold Medal and thus gaining her father's affection and respect. But she's sort of a spoiled twatbox -"
Her: "Erin, please."
Me: "Sorry. So she cycles through partners a lot. But then her coach found Doug, who was ACTUALLY a hockey player before an injury to his eye forced him to retire and lose his college scholarship, and he's learning how hard it is to be a figure skater and she's learning that she doesn't have to be a spoiled tightass all -"
Her: "ERIN."
Me: "SORRY. A spoiled princess and of course secretly they're in love and want to do it like bunnies, but she's engaged to Hale who is such a douchenozzle, like you wouldn't believe -"
Her: "Where do you hear these words?"
Me: "The tv. Anyway, but they fall in love and get together and skate their way to the gold medal, the end!"
Her: "Huh. It looks stupid."

It looks stupid. IT LOOKS STUPID? How can this person share my DNA, SRSLY? The Cutting Edge is NOT stupid. It is perhaps the finest Sports- or Sports-Adjacent RomCom ever made. It contains the immortal words of both ice skating, in particular, and life advice in general: "TOOOEEEEE PIIIIICK."

Stupid. STUPID. She is disowned.

Although, the movie does have one flaw. Following the logical age progression with regard to the plot, Doug and Kate are probably about 23, 24 at the oldest (Doug says that the last thing he read was the letter cancelling his college scholarship - let's assume he was a junior at the time, at the latest - and that was one year before Pamchenko came to recruit him, making him 23ish. And Kate's of course nearing retirement age, so she's got to be about 23 or 24 as well.). So why did Kate dress like Blanche Devereaux all the time? Kate! You're a figure skater with an AMAZING body. Whyfor the shoulder pads and giant caftans, baby?

End of Conversation with Mom, post "Stupid" comment:
Me: "I can't BELIEVE you would say that. This movie is amazing. This movie is my number one, all time movie to watch on Sunday afternoons. I mean, if I were doing a Top Ten list, like, about movies I like to catch on cable tv, this would top it. {Pause} Hey, is it winter or summer Olympics this year?"
Her: "Summer. 8.8.08."
Me: "Cool. Where are they?"
Her: "ERIN. CHINA. Are you living under a rock?"
Me: "Oh, yeah! With the protests, and the relay and everything. Cool, I get it."
Her: "Sometimes I don't know how you're my daughter."

Okay, you know the drill: list me your top ten. Think carefully about them!! Please know I will be silently judging you and forming ideas about the future of our relationship based on your answers.

Oh, by the way, while getting the link for The Cutting Edge, guess what I found? That's right, The Cutting Edge fanfiction. I'm totally going to read it right now.


Moody said...

I don't believe in watching movies on cable even if they are on all the time. I still have to own them before I can watch them. Mind you I have oh about 35 DVDs in my collection that are still in their wrappers because I haven't gotten around to watching them yet. I haven't seen The Cutting Edge in a long time. Did you know they made a direct to video sequel? I never saw it. I haven't seen J v. V in a while either but I did love it when I was younger.

In no particular order here are a few movies that I have seen numerous times and will probabaly see numerous times again.

1. Superman: The Movie, II, Returns. I'm putting all of these as one entry. I still haven't watched the 2 hour making of Superman Returns documentary from the DVD yet because every time I think about doing so I just end up watching the movie again. Christopher Reeve is iconic as the character and I thought Brandon Routh did an excellent job in Returns considering.

2. Fight Club: Though I haven't seen it in at least 4 years it's one I watched so many times that I can point out every time Tyler Durden flashes before his character comes on later in the film.

3. GhostBusters: If there is one thing in this world that I have loved more and longer than Superman it is GhostBusters. I can pretty much quote the movie. Albeit before I owned the movie as a child I watched an ABC edited version of the movie which is what I can quote from the most.

4. Mannequin: My first celebrity crush was Kim Cattrall in Mannequin. I admit it. I own this movie on DVD. And I still enjoy it. Mannequin 2 on the other hand? Not so much.

5.Zoolander: I let someone borrow this and I have no idea where it is . I consider this to be one of the main two underrated comedies of 2001.

6. Josie and the Pussycats: This is the other underrated comedy of 2001.

7. Donnie Darko: yep I like this one too. Who would have thought? I even bought the Director's Cut.

8. Die Hard Trilogy. Though admittedly I watch these around the holidays.

9. Not Another Teen Movie. This was the third underrated comedy of 2001 (Ok so maybe I can't count well.) This one came out before all of those other shitty "Movie" movies. (Superhero Movie is actually good though) And this one always makes me laugh.

10. Spaceballs I saw this movie so many times as a kid it's not even funny. Well maybe just a little funny. OK "We ain't found Shit" still gets me every time.

You gave me an idea for a blog. Movies I don't own that I should.

Meredith said...

Damn, Moody. Well done, sir. Those are excellent choices. Mannequin rocks my socks and is totally on my TBS list. Fight Club's one of two all-time favorite movies of mine (the other being A Clockwork Orange, and I can't choose one over the other no matter how hard I think about it. Also, those are both kind of violent, huh? Hmm.)Also, I watch the Die Hard trilogy every single year. Sometimes twice a year.

Okay, Erin, I gave you most of these when we discussed via e-mail yesterday, but here we go again, top 10 cable movies (some of which I actually own, like Clueless and Zoolander, but I still squeal and clap my hands when they come on b/c I like the spontaneous gift of it):

Ever After, Clueless, Dirty Dancing, A Few Good Men, Zoolander, Pretty Woman, 10 Things I Hate About You, Beetlejuice, Mannequin, and/or Any Lifetime Movie Ever.

Which, granted, makes me look like I have The Worst Movie Taste In The World, but I actually don't, I have totally rad taste in movies. But, like Moody, I own 70000 DVDs (many of which are still in their wrappers, trust), and I save my guilty pleasures for TBS Sunday afternoons.

Meredith said...

p.s. I did forget to say that I totally love Mermaids. I've seen that movie soooo many times. And it would absolutely be on my list if I'd ever managed to catch it on TBS. I didn't even realize it was on rotation there!

Gah, I wish Cher were my mom. Even though she'd steal Jake Ryan from me. I'd be like, take him, Mom! You're Cher, you're too awesome to deny! Even though Bob Hoskins/ Danny Devito is obviously your soulmate.

Cat said...

I have no response to that.

Angelica is my favorite. She's a flibbertigibbet.

I actually have never seen several movies in your list, including *gasp* The Cutting Edge. I really just don't have any interest in it.

Here are some movies that I watch every time I find them on TV but I don't own them on DVD:

1) Center Stage. I have no idea why I like this movie. It's embarassing on almost every level.

2) Foxes.

3) Flash Gordon. Flash, aah-aaaah, savior of the universe! I saw this in theater, I am oooooooold. And I had the Queen soundtrack on cassette.

4) Don't Tell Mom The Babysitter's Dead. Clown Dog!

5) Real Genius. I'm forever fascinated by how much the 2nd male lead looks like a girl.

6) PCU. "Can you blow me where the pampers is?"

7) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. This is actually a great film, and the only reason I don't own it is that it's not on DVD.

8) Desperately Seeking Susan.

9) Seems Like Old Times. Well said, well spoken, B.G.

10)Broadcast News. Why don't I own this movie?

Erin said...

moody, will it ruin our friendship if I admit that . . . I like Mannequin 2: On the Move more than Mannequin? I know, I KNOW, I'm weird. I can't help it!

I saw the Cutting Edge sequel. It's best not to bring up such painful memories.

Mere, I have 10 things on my iPod and I watch it all the time when I'm out somewhere. "I know you can be overwhelmed, and you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?" "I think you can in Europe."

Cat: Center Stage is AMAZING, trust. of course, I'm a sucker for any movie about dance, so. Also, PCU! I saw it for the first time a few weeks before I left for college, and I had a dream that night that my co-op, taos, would be like The Pit. AND IT TOTALLY WAS. Complete with weird middle-aged people who refused to graduate.

gus away from the metroplaza said...

The Cutting Edge story is ridiculously hilarious. It would absolutely on my top ten list, along with Fight Club, Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (I'm right on top of it, Rose!), Back to the Future (really any of the trilogy), Heathers, Red Dawn (Wolverines!), Leathal Weapon, Pump Up the Volume (the glory days of Christian Slater), Anything with Julia Stiles. And then there's my top choice: Selena.

What's not to love? Jennifer Lopez back when she was nobody, terrible dialog, and Edward James Olmos. Solid. And it's about S-E-L-E-N-A-S. Tejano music is where it's at; everyone should rock the accordian.

brightbluebeetle said...

In a sorta order, but not really, and i'm yet to see them here, though CBC played them all the time

10. I've Heard the Mermaids Singing
10. I've Heard the Mermaids Singing
Sheila McCarthy before she went all Die Hard II on me

9. Sex, Lies & Videotape
A glimpse of why James Spader is the best bad guy

8. Zoolander
7. Josie and the Pusseycats
6. Hudson Hawk
Guilty pleasures that you either get, or don't...

5. Cutting Edge
If only for the line "...finger painting"

4. Rocky III
No one beats down Sly like Mr. T
not even Dolph

3. Star Trek II - The Wrath of Khan
I really miss Fantasy Island, I really really do

2. Steel Magnolias
Best chick flick ever. She'll always be Pris to me, but Darryl Hannah as a Born Again..sweet

1. The World According to Garp
Great book, Robin Williams as impressive as Bill Murray in Razor's Edge, and John M. and Glenn C. I'm cheating a bit though as it is typically on around 1:30am. Definitely worth coming into work late for.

Moody said...

I own the World According to Garp. It is a great movie and an even greater novel.

Moody said...

I vaguely remember Mannequin 2:On the Move. I think I just blocked it out mainly due to the fact Kim Cattrall wasn't in it. But I think Meshach Taylor was the only link between the two. He also played Anthony on Designing Women. Which is probably the real reason why I really liked that show. Well for him and Annie Potts being on it as well. It had little to do with the Sugarbakers.

Erin said...

Meschach! I loved him with all the fervent longing an eight-year-old can muster when I was a child. Which, considering my other crush was Neil Patrick Harris, you'd think I'd have realized I was always doomed to fall in love with the gays. Sigh.

gus, Selena is SRS BZNZ if you're from Texas. I remember when they held open auditions for the part, and people in San Antonio and Houston were lined up for MILES. (Not Dallas or Austin, though, those cities primarily being full of white people, who had never heard of Selena before in their life.) of course, NOW, I have "If I could fallll in loooooove with youuuu" stuck in my head, so thanks ever so much.

Paul, we both know that the only logical reason to be late to work is Roger Waters. Obviously. Also, we wore out Steel Magnolias in college. We watched it every single day (that, and The Big Chill, that one was under duress) for a year and a half. "You didn't bring your purse, Shelby, no you didn't!"

Meredith said...


anna reid said...

OH MY GOODNESS THE CUTTING EDGE IS THE BEST MOVIE EVER! would you mind sharing the link to the fanfiction that you found? I would absolutely LOVE to read it.