What happens when you find your true love at 36 and he just happens to be a movie critic? All that you thought you knew about movies goes by the wayside and a new world opens up to you. I thought I was pretty well versed in the film universe, but as Adam pointed out to me, I had some major gaps. He got the brilliant idea for each of us to come up with five films that the other had not seen and we would learn more about each other through our choices. I was ready at the get go for this challenge…the only stipulation was he couldn’t make me sit through a horror film. Thankfully none of those ranked on his list of five, so off we went. (For his review of my five movies, and you know you want to know what I picked, click here…)
1. Donnie Darko
First on the list because it is his all-time favorite, though the rabbit itself almost disqualified it because of its freakish nature, was Donnie Darko. Now, this is Jake Gyllenhaal at his best. It was also nice to see Patrick Swayze, one of my childhood crushes, in a most unappealing light as he stretched his remarkable acting chops. A brain bender for sure, Donnie Darko encompasses all that I love about film—an impressive cast, a compelling story with many layers, some that make you go, “huh?” and an ending that is so completely satisfying that you just go, “yes!” Point one for Adam.
2. Step Brothers
I was almost disowned by my own sister for admitting to having never seen this one. I’m not sure how I missed it, as I generally enjoy Will Ferrell’s comedy and I think John C. Reilly is amazeballs. As a single parent myself, this made me so grateful, once again, that Adam does not come with wee ones of his own. The laughs rolled as Reilly and Ferrell’s antics became more absurd. I definitely snorted when they begged for bunkbeds. Funny. Touching. Well played, Adam.
I know why I never wanted to see this movie—as a die-hard feminist who graduated from a women’s college, I just couldn’t bear to sit through the misogynistic humor that permeates Anchorman. But just as Veronica Corningstone was wooed, I too felt myself soften. One-liners abounded (“Tits McGhee is on vacation…”) and I started to see why the movie was such a big hit. Male humor? Totally. But I got it…and I enjoyed it. Oh, Ron Burgundy, you smooth talker you.
4. They Came Together
I love obscure films. And I love comedies. And I adore both Paul Rudd and Amy Poehler, so to have them both in the same flick, I was definitely on board. I have one word for this film. Pffffffftht. I’m sorry, Adam, but I just couldn’t bear the obvious humor and over the top schticky mocking of romantic comedies. Yes, there were a few moments where I snickered because it called to light some of the more absurd moments in formulaic rom-coms. But They Came Together became what it mocked. I didn’t find it brilliant, as satire should be, and the humorous moments were too sporadic for me the film to get my buy in. Minus two for Adam. For making me sit through it and for wasting a spot on his top 5.
5. Clerks/Chasing Amy
I love Kevin Smith’s brain. Dogma is one of my favorite movies of all time (It didn’t qualify for my list because we had both seen it), so it’s unbelievable that I hadn’t seen any other Kevin Smith films. When Adam suggested something by Smith, he couldn’t decide between Clerks and Chasing Amy. I suggested we watch both and then decide. That proved impossible as each exceeded my expectations, so I’m including them both as 5a and 5b.
Clerks was just awesome for anyone stuck in the service sector. (“I’m not even supposed to be here today…”) But you don’t even need to have that background to enjoy the movie. Twenty-something angst and en pointe observations about the world around us, Clerks delivers a quality movie going experience. And it doesn’t hurt that Randal is suh-mokin’! However, if I had to give the edge to one of them, it would be Chasing Amy. Adorable is the best word for this flick, and it hit close to home with both the love lost and the whole dealing with one’s past issues. I loved seeing Ben Affleck in his primitive acting years and Jason Lee was outstanding, not to mention the ever-relatable Joey Lauren Adams. I love when I get so immersed in storytelling that my soul is moved. Chasing Amy did that for me, and I appreciate Smith for all that he has given to the world of filmmaking. Bonus points for Adam.
We had such a fun time doing this together…I think it’s a fantastic exercise for others to do as well. I’m also already adding to the list of movies that I had forgotten about and would love to get his reaction on. If you’re so inclined, I challenge you and your loved one to do the same…you never know what you may find out.