The other day – my friend Sharon was enlisting help from her girlfriends – to help her choose our favorite movies – (aka: chick flicks) and being, first of all a girl – AND a great lover of film AND romance, drama AND inspiring musical scores – I thought I would make up a list of my ‘top ten’ favorites – at least up to this moment in time. This list may change – but for now – here it is – in my own humble opinion.
1) Sense and Sensibility – with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Hugh Grant. I am a HUGE fan of anything Jane Austin – but this movie has great acting AND a beautiful haunting musical score too – and makes it a winner. This is about sisters that have many things happen to them – including great poverty and grief – and yet still remain constant in their love for each other. It is a different role then you’ll ever see Hugh Grant in – and I loved it. He was adorable. I laughed AND cried – and see something new every time I see it. An interesting note: Emma Thompson is actually married in real life to the actor that played her sister’s ‘love interest’ in the movie. The man who turns out to have a bit of a black heart – and loves money more than Mariann. It is also a DVD with ‘extras’ and has the commentary by Emma Thompson – which is very informative (great things going on behind the scenes – and great way of setting up some of the scenes). It is a film that you never grow tired of – because it is a ‘period-piece’ – and is always as current as the day it came out in the theater.
2) Only You – with Robert Downing Jr. and Marissa Tomei. About a woman who is convinced her ‘soul mate’ is out there somewhere after playing a game as a kid and having his name spelled out. She grows up – tries to forget about him – is even engaged to another man – UNTIL she receives a chance phone call from the name she has been waiting for her whole life. She begins a hilarious ‘romp’ through Italy to find him. It is one of the most romantic movies because of its setting in Europe and the musical score is genius. Another movie you can watch over and over – with the hilarious Bonnie Hunt as the best friend who travels with her.
3) To Kill A Mocking Bird – with Gregory Peck – made in the early 60’s – it is a masterpiece. And if you loved the book – you’ll love the movie – although not true entirely to some of the storyline – it is still powerful and stays true to the main theme in the book – which is prejudice in a small southern town in the 1930’s – and one man’s fight against the system. Powerful and strong performances from the child actors – and in the DVD there are many ‘extras’ and interviews with those ‘children’ now adults and their take on looking back on the filming. I love the interview with Gregory Peck and his story about meeting the author of this masterpiece, Harper Lee – and just what she said to him – you’ll laugh right out loud! We watch this every Halloween as a family – it’s our family tradition – and probably the best ‘father/son’ movie you’ll ever see. Gets my husband EVERY time!!
4) Meet Joe Black – with Anthony Hopkins and Brad Pitt. This is a remake of the silent film, ‘Death takes a holiday’ – where ‘death’ takes on a human form and wanders around to learn about ‘life’. Brad Pitt plays death – and it’s his best role (in my opinion) very challenging to play – I mean, How do you play death? But play it – he does and even with a little dry humor which is delightful. Anthony Hopkins plays the man whom ‘death’ wants to come and visit and get a tour of ‘life’. The acting is excellent – the banter very humorous and very serious at the same time – and again the musical score is pure genius. I even borrowed it for a theater production of “Our Town’ several years ago – and I think all the students AND the audience were bawling at the end! I love music that does that!
5) Age of Innocence – with Michelle Pfeiffer. Winona Ryder and Daniel Day-Lewis – A ‘period-piece’ set in the late 1800’s to about 1950. Beautiful story about the way things were done in the upper classes in New York City. Unrequited love in its most simple and unique form – a family class structure that is set and unmovable. The musical score is beautiful – you will be transported back in time. I find myself watching this one over and over – and it is as fresh today as when it first came out on DVD.
6) Sabrina – with Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford – I actually like this remake better than the original with Audrey Hepburn – because to me Humphrey Bogart is just not right for the role – and Harrison Ford is PERFECT! Timeless story of a poor chauffeur’s daughter that goes to find herself in Europe all the while in love with the boy back home. It’s delightful and has many surprises of its own. I believe that it’s Harrison’s best role in a romantic comedy – and I can watch it over and over. Very funny and moving story!
7) While you were sleeping – my favorite Sandra Bullock movie of all times. She’s adorable in this. About a girl who’s in love with someone from afar – until one day she is thrust into his life – because she saves his – and puts her into a series of events where everyone assumes that she not only knows him – but is engaged to him! Very funny and very moving at times – one I love to watch over and over – it will make you laugh and cry.
8) Fried Green Tomatoes – with Kathy Bates and Mary Stuart Masterson – a trip into the past – through loss, grief, eternal friendship and a bond that supersedes death. This is hilarious – and then so sobering it will make you shiver. A must see for all Kathy Bates fans. My favorite Mary Stuart Masterson movie – a real gem. Great musical score too.
9) Diary of a Mad Black Woman – one of Tyler Perry’s masterpieces. This story is about love, loss, and forgiveness. It is so worth watching for the Christian message but also for the great humor and multiple characters created and acted out by Tyler Perry. Loved it. It will make you laugh and cry. And you will cheer at the end!
10) Emma – the Kate Beckinsale version. Another Jane Austin masterpiece – well acted and thought-provoking with much humor and love. I highly recommend seeing it.
Look for part two soon – as I have many more movie delights I would love to share with you – and look forward to reading what your top ten favorites are!
- Emma Thompson: a national treasure or Britain’s most annoying woman? (telegraph.co.uk)
- Movie Review: Diary of a Mad Black Woman (blogcritics.org)
- Scott Mendelson: Tyler Perry as an Oscar contender? Why it’s not as crazy as it sounds. (huffingtonpost.com)
- What Your Favorite Movie, Book, Music Piece and Artist Says About You (socyberty.com)
- A Minute With: Emma Thompson as “Nanny McPhee” (omg.yahoo.com)
- Emma Thompson Joins The Walk of Fame’s Galaxy (blogcritics.org)
- Top Ten Fun Romantic Movies (brighthub.com)
- Hugh Laurie Kneels Before Emma Thompson’s Star (eonline.com)