Remember when I did this before? Well, I’m doing it again. This time, however, I’m talkin’ about 20 random movies I love and why I love them so. They’re in no order of importance. Ready? Like to hear it? Here it go…
1. A Room with a View. Let’s see: a Victorian setting, Helena Bonham Carter, this scene. Hook, line, sinker. Really, though, this is a marvelously beautiful movie and my little 17 year-old heart nearly burst when I saw it and still bursts when I see it today.
2. Pride and Prejudice, 1995. Yep, I’m aware that it was on TV, not on a movie screen. Nope, I don’t care. This is how you adapt a beloved book: stay faithful to the original, make it amazing and heart-stirring, and by all means, cast Colin Firth.
3, 4, 5. Indiana Jones Series: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade. I can’t describe the wonder of sitting on the living room floor with my siblings and my parents, our eyes glued to many adventures of Indy, the watchful silence intermittently punctuated by our excited laughs, screams, and gasps. Sometimes movies aren’t about movies at all, but the memories they elicit.
6. Beauty and the Beast. Are you surprised? I’ll tell you why: this was the first movie I saw in a movie theater! Yes, in 1991, my Pops, who expertly sheltered his children as soon as our plane from Ghana touched American soil, reluctantly allowed me to go to the movies and see this. It was thrilling. The seats, the dark theater, the opening of the screen. I was thoroughly transfixed that day and admittedly still am by the entire movie-going experience. Even if your kid is kicking the back of my seat.
7-10. Mission: Impossible 1-4. Oh, did you know I’m a rabid Tom Cruise lover? I mean, yes, I’m married to Idris or whatever, but I remain Cruise’s most serious and loudly devoted fan. So I go to his movies on opening weekend and I watch and I LOVE each and every moment, because it’s Tom Cruise and he’s hanging on a mountain/building/plane and it’s exciting and I love this teeth. There. Now you know.
11. Citizen Kane. In 10th grade, my Film Studies teacher deemed it one of the most important films ever made. His words were no exaggeration. The rise and fall of newspaper publisher Charles Foster Kane was breathtaking to watch and dissect. A true, true classic.
12. The Philadelphia Story. Speaking of classics, this.movie.is.everything. Have you seen this film? Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart engaged in a love triangle amid 40s wordplay and men who still wore tuxedos as casual wear? See this film, please, if you haven’t. If you have, feel free to watch it all over again. Ugh, they don’t make them like this anymore.
13. Dial ‘M’ for Murder. The theme of classics continue, but what are classics without Hitchcock? One of my absolute favorites from Alfie. A cat-and-mouse game at its best, this plot. And Grace Kelly. Sigh.
14. To Kill a Mockingbird. As a writer, Harper Lee changed my life. As a lover of films, this adaptation of her novel did the same thing. I’ll end it with two words: Gregory Peck.
15. Superman. I grew up loving comic books, due entirely to my Mama, who made sure we had plenty of them to read as kids. Anyway, when I was introduced to the Superman films, particularly the very first one, I repeatedly had to remind myself that Christopher Reeve wasn’t Superman. He wasn’t, right? But then at the end of movie, he would fly up into the air and swirl around the earth and look at the camera with those blue eyes and smile and then I wasn’t as convinced anymore. To this day, that scene takes my breath away. And that swelling music! See below, and you’re welcome.
16. Coming to America. To this day, I chuckle at how thoroughly inappropriate it was for us kids to be watching this movie (the language is off the hook), but back then, our parents couldn’t resist. I mean, come on: an African prince in New York City looking for this true love? We can quote lines and scenes, by the way. I bet you can, too.
17, 18, 19. Star Wars Trilogy. Forgive Return of the Jedi and just agree that these films changed everything in your life as a moviegoer and a lover of story and a dreamer. They just did.
20. The Princess Bride. The wit. The laugh out loud humor. The lines. Cary Elwes. Inconceivable. Fred Savage. Mandy Patinkin. Modern day classic. Without a doubt.
So that’s it for me. What are your 20? Or even five? Let me know in the comments, pretty please. And before you go…