Today I finished watching 2 of my favorite movies. Was it Casablanca? Was it Ben-Hur (both movies I adore). No, it was The Cutting Edge and Julie and Julia. Neither are movies you would see on top 10 lists of great films or praised for their great artistry but I love them. And it got me thinking. I think most of us have a secret favorite movies list. You know what I mean? That list of movies you actually like best but you know aren’t ‘great movies’. It’s kind of like the woman who secretly loves dime romance novels but tells all her friends her favorite book is Anna Karenina or War and Peace. It’s not that she dislikes the classics but they don’t give her quite the pleasure of her true favorites.
Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share with you 5 of my secret favorites and then I will continue to do more every once in a while. I’d love to hear what yours are (most of these won’t be a big shock because I talk about what I love with my friends. So not that much of a secret LOL)
You could also easily call this list- My Rewatch List. These are movies I could rewatch over and over again and never tire of (Wonder Woman would make this list but it’s pretty well loved)
You’ve Got Mail-
I had somebody once on this very blog tell me that my opinion on movies was obviously invalid because I went to BYU and loved You’ve Got Mail. I’m not sure how the math on that works out but there you go. I absoloutely adore You’ve Got Mail. It is one of the best, if not the best, remake ever made of the delightful Shop Around the Corner. It is chock full of Nora Ephron’s perfect writing. I love her commentary on everything from childrens books to leather jackets to Starbucks. I love that it is secretly a movie about work and how we get our sole value from our paid employment so frequently. I love Meg and Tom in it. I love the supporting cast. I love West Side of New York and all the stops at Riverside Park and the Gray’s Papaya. I love how it loves movies like the Godfather. I love the scene when Tom Hanks gets Rose to run the credit card through the machine and how upset Henry is. I love that Birdie had an affair with General Franco. I love that Frank wants to write a book about the Luddite movement and that he thinks it is relevant. I love that Kathleen loves Joni Mitchell and thinks of her mother when she hears River. You get the idea…I just love it and that’s that.
A lot of people love Home Alone around the holidays but I love Home Alone year round. I first saw Home Alone when I was 9 years old and visiting my Grandparents for a special trip all by myself. Being independent was very important to me as a child (still is in many ways) and I completely connected with Kevin McCallister’s story and found it to be the funniest movie I’d ever seen. I remember just rolling out of my chair I was laughing so hard and not necessarily at the parts you might think. The booby traps are very funny for kids but I also thought the scene where he accidentally steals the toothbrush was funny or when he tricks the pizza delivery guy with the Angels with Filthy Souls fake mafia movie tape. “I’m going to give you till the count of 10 to get your ugly yellow no good kiester off my property…” That was hilarious to the kid me and I still think it is funny. But Home Alone wasn’t just laughs but it was also empowering to the young me. Kevin figures out how to shop for groceries, cook dinner, do laundry and save the house from burglars while he is at it. It’s the best.
Clueless came out the summer before my freshman year of high school and I vividly remember the experience. I watched it and not only thought it was hilarious but I felt like my world made a little bit more sense than it had before. When Cher is talking about the boys and their baggy pants with a backwards cap ‘and we’re supposed to swoon’ I completely understood what she meant. I saw it every day! When she talked about frustrations at school or trying to fit in with friends it made sense to me. Even her getting on the freeway for the first time clicked. I was always terrified of driving and later once I had my permit my Dad took me on the freeway and he had to remind me to hold on to the steering wheel just like Murray had done with Dionne. I still love everything about Clueless. I love Paul Rudd in it. I love that it is based on Emma. I love all the hilarious lines. I love the interactions between Cher and her Dad. I love her speech about the Haitians. I love the soundtrack with all my favorite 90s songs. I just love it.
In fairness a lot of people love Dirty Dancing but I still feel it isn’t respected as a ‘great film’ like it should be. I like it much better than any of the Molly Ringwald coming of age comedies from the 80s. My love of Dirty Dancing is perhaps more amazing because it features a character having an abortion- a practice I abhor but the movie isn’t about that. It’s about a young girl coming to terms with the world and her own womanhood. Other people make all kinds of choices in life and part of growing up is to learn to love them regardless. This is what Baby learns. She loves Johnny and he loves her and they dance together and it changes her life. The best!
I love Moonstruck. I feel like I frequently see it come up on lists of ‘undeserved Oscar wins’ and I heartily disagree. I love Cher in this and her chemistry with Nicholas Cage is off the charts. I love how wounded he is and how they fight and the way the tension builds. I love the dialogue and when Cher says you’re “a wolf without a foot!” I love the scenes at the opera and how La Boheme makes her cry. I love the scenes with Olympia Dukakis and John Mahoney and I love when she tells Cosmo “Your life is not built on nothing.” It’s such a perfect response to a movie I love!
So there you have it! Those are 5 of my secret favorite movies. What do you think? What are some movies you love that aren’t usually listed in top 10 best movie lists? I’d love to hear.
There shall be more on this topic to come so be ready!
16 thoughts on “My Real Favorite Movies Part 1”
Still don’t like You’ve got mail…….
I think Home alone is universally beloved. Granted, I don’t tend to watch it outside of Christmas, but that is more because there is a superstition in Germany that is brings bad luck if you sing Christmas songs in summer which I kind of apply to movies, too. Plus, they are more special if you only watch them at specific times.
Ok. Well you’ll have to put out your own list someday
Do I have to? You know that this isn’t my thing….
But I might do a “Is it sexist” article regarding rom-coms one day using the opportunity to mention what I consider good and what I consider not so good romcoms…(Sorry, You’ve got mail is just one of those which particularly irks me).
Of course you don’t actually have to. You can do whatever you want with your blog. There’s a lot more to You’ve Got Mail than most give it credit for but I honestly don’t really care if you find it sexist. I think it’s brilliant so to each their own
I actually don’t necessarily find it sexist…I just consider it problematic.
To each their own. I love it
Oh, I love You’ve Got Mail! It’s also one of my all-time favorite rewatch movies. I enjoyed the Shop Around the Corner, too, but Meg and Tom just have such brilliant chemistry, and the ending is so perfect, every time. Some of my other faves are Pride & Prejudice (2005), The Notebook, Shakespeare in love, and Sleepless in Seattle. (Weird how those are all romance or rom-coms).
Oh great list!! I love those and agree with you about You’ve Got Mail. They have such great chemistry and I love the ending. I love how it plays Over the Rainbow when they meet which is my favorite song. It’s just such a perfect movie.
Love that you did this! There are a whole lot more movies I like that aren’t really big critically-adored, award-winning classics of cinemas that anymore whenever I do any ‘top movie list,’ I actually have an easier time highlighting those and why their special to me than the movies people think you’re ‘supposed’ to have on a list half the time because I feel like I can provide my own unique thoughts instead of feeling like I’m regurgitating what everyone else says. lol I especially love the inclusion of legit classic of cinema Clueless and the little Cutting Edge shout-out at the beginning!
I used to feel this way about half my favourite movies list – I wanted to include more classics or older films until I decided it didn’t really matter. I suppose my own “secret favourites” would include The Mask of Zorro, Speed Racer and Commando. Out of yours, I obviously love Home Alone and I enjoyed You’ve Got Mail but I’ve never seen the other three. (Dirty Dancing, at least, isn’t my style.)
Everyone loves Home Alone. It’s just the best! Mask of Zorro I really like also. It’s so much fun.
I love You’ve Got Mail…It’s modern Pride and Prejudice =D
Great idea here, and I completely know what you mean about these rewatch movies that don’t get enough love. I will defend You’ve Got Mail till my dying breath; I recognize and love every scene you referenced. I do like Moonstruck too and love Home Alone, while I just saw Dirty Dancing for the first time recently and wasn’t too keen on it. I’d already seen all the best parts beforehand. Never seen Clueless, but I suppose I should.
My rewatch list (which is helped by how often some of these are shown on TV) would have to include Elizabethtown, the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, National Treasure, The Mummy 1 and 2, and the High School Musical movies. Oh, and You’ve Got Mail. I could watch those any day of the week with no shame whatsoever.
I am so happy to find people who love You’ve Got Mail as much as I do! It’s a brilliant film wrapped in romcom packaging. I really believe that. You also give some great choices. Pirates 2 and 3 are bit much for me but they did improve a bit on the rewatch I have to say. I may mention High School Musical in a future post. There are so many films I love that aren’t seen as ‘great’ films by the public at large.