As with favorite books, hard to pin down, but here we go. In no particular order, and with some stretching of boundaries:
1) The Princess Bride: Lemme ‘splain. No, there is no time; lemme sum up: this is simply the best, funniest, most true-hearted grown up fairy tale ever put on film. And, as I mentioned on Day 6, eminently quotable.
2) Say Anything: John Hughes made more perfect teen angst films — “Sixteen Candles” — and more famous ones — “The Breakfast Club” — but in “Say Anything” he allowed us to feel what it was to truly be on the brink of adulthood: to feel a little bit of terror at what comes next, to feel heartbreak beyond a snubbing by the popular crowd, to feel betrayal by those we love most. The lows are lower, and therefore the highs are higher. And it’s got some great quotes as well, including one of my favorite ever: “The world is full of guys. Be a man.”
3) The Lord of the Rings trilogy: To me, it’s a 12 hour movie, each part incomplete without the others. It’s not perfect by any means – what adaptation of that epic could be? – but it is the very essence of what I had already imagined in my mind and in my heart.
4) Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh): Although Joss Whedon’s recent version is poised to become its companion on the shelf and in the DVD player, this film is a go-to classic no matter what my mood. Beatrice and Benedick are such a great couple — the original rom-com couple, in fact, who can’t see their mutual affection over all the mutual despising — and this production is as rich and indulgent as an Italian dessert. Some of the casting choices may be a bit dicey, and there are moments that don’t quite work, but those are far outweighed by the joy of the rest.
5) Sense and Sensibility: Another great go-to, this time for when I need Jane Austen in my life, which is more often than you might think. The love between the sisters, the contrast between emotional Marianne and self-contained Elinor, and of course, the devoted Colonel Brandon… Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon. Ah, swoon…