In between such things as adapting to a newly down-sized quality of life (I can laugh about it now… but give me 5 minutes I’ll look like a lost, sad puppy again), the recent loss of a friend and colleague, the slight disappointment of “Man of Steel : Revenge of the Fallen on the Dark of the Moon”, using Myer Bourke Street as my personal wardrobe most days, playing “Catch the hair gel” when it flies off my dashboard most mornings, and being put through fellow Movieholic (there’s a 12-step class, don’t worry) Brooke Campbell’s rendition of this Britney Spears classic, on loop (!)… I’ve managed to find and make time for the ol’ Twitter (that’s not a sexual thing, mum – don’t have a heart attack) a bit and interact with the fans (and “Twilight” fans, of course). In between eating my three-course nightly meal (cereal followed by an apple followed by a muscle protein bar), I’ll talk to some of you guys about films – in particular favourite films.
Which brings us to this piece.
Firstly, favourite films are not what this column is about. This column is about the stuff in-between. I’m not talking about the celluloid you wanna marry here, I’m talking up the efforts you want to kiss the neck of and caress under a doona… but not commit to. Not fully.
Let me explain, being the go-to man for everything cinema* (*between Flinders Lane and Little Bourke Street in the city), I’ve been asked more than a few times on recent occasion what “not so good” films I enjoy. Guilty pleasures, if you will. You know the type… ones I enjoy that most people thought stunk like John Goodman’s bloomers after the California Pizza Kitchen-sponsored egg n’spoon race. I’ve usually had no trouble in responding to the question, because god knows I’ve had plenty of those “god, do I admit to liking this movie?” moments – (heck, I’ll raise you your “English Patient” and give you a “Some Kind of Wonderful” on any given day). And have I mentioned I’d prefer to watch “Overnight Delivery” with Paul Rudd and Reese Witherspoon (and a seemingly on-crack Larry Drake) – even a slideshow of Amanda Byne’s selfies for that matter – over that overrated ant-drinking commercial “The Hangover”!? No? Well, just did.
We all like things we aren’t suppose to like. Ask Rhianna.
Here, from the ‘comedy’ shelf at your (if I feel inspired, I may go through all the genres) local FlixBanger video library (“Dude, Flixbanger? Sounds like some Floridian pimp!” – reader) are 5 flicks you guys probably don’t think much of, but I do [so ner].
Ten Things I Hate About You
I’m like a crack-whore around a paint-stripper factory when it comes to ensemble teenage comedies, I can’t get enough. As opposed to many of the teen comedies downloadable for $1.99 on Netflix, Gil Junger’s 1999 Shakespearean riff has actually had some thought put into it – resulting in a fresh, funky, funny coating for an otherwise well-worn story. And god I love Larisa Oleynik in this. And the soundtrack. And realizing someone else’s poppa was stricter than mine (“Be home by 5 on the dot to unpack the dishwasher… or no Just Right for breakfast”). Mainly, it taught me it’s totally fine to sing cheesy tunes in public – so I’ll continue doing so. You’re just too good to be true, can’t take my eyes off of you…
Now guys, tell me something true?
I mentioned this in the epilogue (one that’s sure to go down with Ridley Scott’s 2012 “Alien” back-story in history), so you’ve likely already got over the shock by now, but yes, I’m that guy.. I’m the guy responsible for this direct-to-video laffer making its money back. Not quite sure what the appeal of the movie was for me – could’ve been the cute chemistry between Reese Witherspoon and Paul Rudd, could’ve been the appropriately distasteful opening scene’s effortless ability to meld with classic ballad ‘Magnet and Steel’, or maybe it was the drink that girl gave me at the party at first saw this at. Everyone seems to hate this movie*, but what I find funny is those same people all rushed out to see “Road Trip” , which was essentially the same movie, when it came out twelve months after.
* Even Paul Rudd, the star of the film, who told me who can’t even stand watching it on TV – mainly because of his own performance. ” I’m sure there are a thousand critics out there who would disagree [with your opinion]. I was flicking around a few months ago and it was on. I watched about ten minutes of it. Reese was great in it and then there’s me… it was like ‘Wow, look how funny I’m trying to be’.”
The Secret of My Success
Okay, so I guess you’ve got to be a Michael J.Fox fan to appreciate this one (the same way you have to be a Justin Bieber fan to appreciate the contents of Dolly magazine) but to anyone who hasn’t seen “Back to the Future” 500 times, surely you found this quaint rags-to-riches still a fun ride, no? No? Okay, Maybe I was Sandra Bullock blindsided by the fact that one of my favourite actors (who I was lucky enough to work with briefly last year; that was something) was his ‘hip’ best in it, maybe that ‘saxophone rimjobbing the tip of a cliche ’80s ballad’ soundtrack suckered me in, or maybe I was just spellbound by the thought of working one’s way up the corporate ladder and getting to seduce Supergirl at the same time (Helen Slater plays the love interest here)?
I don’t care what anyone says, “Secret of My Success” packs in so many important life-lessons and messages, like…. well, it does show us how to make a business card on the spot with little more than a photocopier and a smile, doesn’t it!?
Pretty in Pink
It’s not so much that people hate this movie, many quite like it, but it’s still rare for a guy to have developed such a fondness for a movie like this. But, you see, I’m a new breed of guy – I’m the sensitive new-age guy with 10% extra new-aged sensitivity and an ability to be won over by just one Kristy Swanson ‘wink’ – and they only made a few of us before the product line got mixed-up with some Gummi Bears and God was forced to continue mass-producing football-playing, VB-guzzling fellas again.
In all seriousness, I think this film is probably one of the most entertaining and most romantic teen films – not just out of its time, but of any time. You can argue that John Hughes probably shouldn’t have let the ‘rich guy’ win the girl (particularly after that annoying case of the sads he put on, and how loyal ‘Duckie’ was and is to Andie), but besides that it’s a terrifically-played reminder of how unfair folks can treat those that are a bit different – or mightn’t have as much money – on the outside. OK, maybe it’s not that deep. Still, I like it. Deal.
As my first year Uni date knows, because I serenaded her with it once the dance went quiet, I also love the song…
License to Drive
Definitely a film of its time, “License to Drive” was a chance for Fox to cash-in on the popularity of young “Lost Boys” duo Corey Haim and Corey Feldman, and snag themselves a few pages in Tiger Beat, Young Stars, Spoofing Young, Kid Riot, Fresh Jizz,Pash Rash, Minor Mag… or whatever teenage magazines were floating about at the time. And they sure did.
“License to Drive” played back then as well as say, one of the big epic superhero flicks do today. People went nuts for it. The laughter never stopped. Watching Les (Haim) have to drive backwards to get his pregnant momma to hospital? Hilarious! Watching drunk Merecedes (Heather Graham) obliviously wave from the backside of a stranger’s car to her date? Cracker! Watching Grandpa turn up at the end of the film with Les’s folk’s crushed car? The tummy hurt.
I haven’t watched this for a couple of years now, but I’m thinking it’s time to get it out again. One lucky visitor – could it be you!? – might soon be hearing those Oscar-snubbed words ” An innocent girl, a harmless drive. What could possibly go wrong? “
Wait, is that a knock at the door? oooh…
Now let’s take this thing out…
(Everytime I try to fly
I fall without my wings
I feel so small
I guess I need you baby
And everytime I see you in my dreams
I see your face, it’s haunting me
I guess I need you baby)