The Greatest Love Actually Take Down Ever

Sunday 22 December 2013

Perhaps with the 10th anniversary of the “classic” movie Love Actually upon us, you’ve seen some of the variety of cons and pros and cons about the movie and other general articles about its applicability. And what it’s all about.

But last week i discovered this one on jezebel.com, and I just had to share:
I Rewatched Love Actually and Am Here to Ruin It for All of You by Lindy West

It is priceless, and you should read it — but I also wanted to share it with those who haven’t seen the movie or don’t want to read the full thing. So below, check out some of the awesome amazing quotes that work just as well even if you’ve never seen the movie and (until the end) are completely lacking name/relevant plot points and spoilers. Enjoy!

***
[AAA] falls in “love” with [BBB] at first sight, establishing Love Actually‘s central moral lesson: The less a woman talks, the more lovable she is.
None of the women in this movie fucking talk. All of the men in this movie “win” a woman at the end. This goddamn movie.
***
[XXX] falls instantly in love with [YYY], which is understandable, because she hasn’t yet exceeded her Love Actually attractiveness word quota. (Twenty-seven. The quota is 27 words before you become Emma Thompson and must be destroyed.)
***
LOVE ACTUALLY SEES NO PROBLEM WITH TREATING ITS FEMALE CHARACTERS LIKE GIANT BIPEDAL VAGINAS IN SWEATER VESTS.
***
This is a movie made for women by a man.
***
To be perfectly honest, Liam Neeson is really acting the hell out of this movie.
***
…but she doesn’t know he exists. Probably because he’s been hanging out with the men of Love Actually too much, so he just sits around being a self-pitying douche instead of FUCKING TALKING TO HER LIKE A HUMAN BEING.
***
Hey, idea: Could someone respect a woman for one second in this fucking movie? Or could we at least confine the misogyny to women who are actual characters in the film?
***
This entire movie is just straight white men acting upon women they think they “deserve.” This entire movie is just men doing things.
***
IT NEVER FUCKING MATTERS WHAT WOMEN SAY. THEY LITERALLY JUST TOOK A LINE AWAY FROM A WOMAN AND REPLACED IT WITH A NONSENSE SYLLABLE. SHE COULD HAVE ACTUALLY SAID SOMETHING AND INSTEAD SHE JUST GOES “MEEP MEEP” AND BILLY BOB THORNTON POPS A BONER.
***
Thanks, Love Actually. Thank you for telling a generation of men that their intrusiveness and obsessions are “romantic,” and that women are secretly flattered no matter what their body language says.
***
[XXX] decides he needs to fire [YYY] because she’s 2 tempting 2 believe. Then he has this Actual Conversation with his secretary:
Secretary: “The chubby girl?”
[XXX]: “Would we call her chubby?”
Secretary: “I think there’s a pretty sizable ass there, yes, sir. Huge thighs.”
Can we not refer to a woman who worked her way up to a job in the prime minister’s office as “the chubby girl”? Also, can we fire the entire government for sexual harassment?
***
[QQQ] is still totally stumped about the best way to force [RRR] to love him against her will. I mean, he’s tried everything. He tried staring at her, he tried never ever talking to her, he tried complaining

OH MY GOD, OR YOU COULD JUST GO TALK TO HER.
TALK TO HER.
TALK TO HER.
***
Love Actually puts a lot of stock in the idea that people are either good or bad. People either love or they don’t, reciprocate or they don’t. The grander the gesture, the greater the crime of not reciprocating. LOVE GOOD. NOT-LOVE BAD. It’s a pleasant fantasy, I think, because if you accept the difficult truth that people are more than just good or bad, then you have to question whether or not happiness really exists. Because if people are more complicated, then happiness must be more complicated, and at that point is it really happiness?
Oh, god, why am I bothering. Actually.

—(POSSIBLE) SPOILER ALERTS BELOW–THE REST OF THESE HAVE SOME SEMI-PLOT POINTS YOU MAY WANT TO AVOID IF YOU’VE YET TO SEE THE MOVE–OR MAYBE BY NOW YOU’VE DECIDED NOT TO IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY

***
So he abandons Christmas dinner with his loving family and flies back to France. The one expression of genuine love in this movie and [AAA] peaces-out to go hump a stranger.
***
He’s like, “I am here to ask your daughter for her hand in marriage,” and the dad is like, “Say what!?” because he thinks [AAA] means his other daughter, who is fat and gross, and that would obviously makes no sense, because women who are slightly larger than some other women deserve to be alone forever unless they’re the size-6 kind of fake fat like [YYY]. Then the dad offers to pay [AAA] to take fat daughter off his hands. [AAA] is like “Ew, no. I only want to purchase/marry HOT women I’ve never spoken to in my life.”
Once the truth gets sorted out, fat daughter says: “Father is about to sell [BBB] as a slave to this Englishman.”
FIRST SENSIBLE LINE ANYONE’S SAID FOR THIS ENTIRE MOVIE.
***
Oh, also [QQQ] has now chased [RRR] all the way to the airport, where he’s broken through security and is leading TSA agents on a “wacky” chase to the gate.
I feel like this scene would have been way less wacky if that was a brown kid instead of a white one.
***
When they get there, [BBB] looks horrified and is like, “What the fuck are you doing at my work!? I don’t even know you, dude! Get out of here! Oh my god, I’M TRYING TO RUN A RESTAURANT HERE. GO AWAY, YOU CREEPY ENGLISHMAN.”
No. Just kidding. She agrees to fucking marry the guy. Forever. Even though they have never spoken.
***
In a painfully fitting finale, [ZZZ] returns from America with the woman he got. He literally brings her back to England with him like a fucking airport souvenir. But don’t worry, [WWW], HE IMPORTED AN OBJECT WITH NO AGENCY FOR YOU TOO. HERE, PUT YOUR MOUTH ON IT.
That’s love, kids.
Oh, wait. Actually, it’s shit.
***


eric’s Oscar preview

Saturday 6 March 2010

Usually I’m totally on top of the Oscars, but this year (perhaps because I’ve found it hard to be in one place for more than a few weeks at a time the last 3 months) I’ve been lagging in my movie viewing.  I wasn’t able to make it to any showcases of the nominated short films like I did last year, and as you’ll see, have a surprisingly small percentage (in my mind) of nominated films that I’ve viewed.

That being said, I couldn’t let the Oscars go without a mention and some thoughts and predictions, so here you go.  Click here to see a complete list of nominees.  Check out the IMDB Road to the Oscars section for other insight and information on other awards shows.

Before I hit the Oscars, though, I want to tell you about another great awards show you shouldn’t be missing — though it has already taken place — the Independent Spirit Awards.  For the past 10 years or so, I’ve been more smitten with indie film than “Hollywood” film, to be sure, and while you won’t see movies like Avatar or Inglourious Basterds featured there, there are tons of amazing movies you might otherwise miss if you weren’t privy to independent film, so check it out.

Best Picture
This year they went with 10 nominees in the Best Picture category, so maybe it’s understandable that I couldn’t keep up!  I have seen 5 of them so far (and hope to see a few more sometime soon, I just wasn’t giving myself a Oscar awards deadline) — The Hurt Locker, Up in the Air, Precious, Avatar 3D, and Up (the only one I saw on DVD).  From what I’ve heard, it’s a two movie race between the big (Avatar) and the small (Hurt Locker).  While I won’t be upset if either of those takes the award, I think my vote would go to Avatar.  While the visual effects were truly amazing, the story was what drew me in and made it worthwhile.  I’ve heard it’s too similar to Dances With Wolves, and if I had seen that movie, maybe my vote would be different, but for now, I’m sticking with Avatar.  The Hurt Locker is a pretty amazing movie, too, and the scope of the two films is so different that it’s really hard to pick — thus, I’m excited to see who it is!

Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay
While a lot of people try to see the best picture nominees, I usually seek out the nominees in this category (and the next one on my list here), and I’ve been particularly disappointed I have only seen 4 of the 10 total nominated films in these two categories (2 in each category).  That being said, I don’t know how good my thoughts can be, but I’ll try anyway.  Original Screenplay will likely go to Hurt Locker (it would be my vote), if only to make sure it gets its due if Avatar is the big winner.  Adapted Screenplay is a bit more tricky.  Without having seen An Education, I would be fine if that won, and then the two I’ve seen were Up In The Air and Precious.  While both of these were great movies, too, I might have to go with Up In The Air because (from what I hear) there was a bit more adapting done to make it work, and it’s probably the only place it will be recognized.
–Perhaps my biggest beef is that (500) Days of Summer wasn’t even nominated! — though it did with Spirit Award, so that made me happy.

Best Documentary
This is the other category of films I try to get myself to, and perhaps 2 of 5 isn’t bad when many of the movies are very selective in where they’ve played.  I did see the two apparent front-runners, The Cove and Food, Inc., both great in their own way, revealing things people should know about the a wider audience.  While I’d love for Food, Inc. to get out to a wider audience, The Cove was such an excellent “caper” of a film, getting such amazing raw video in secret, that I have to pull for it.

Best Actor
Is there any doubt this is Jeff Bridges award to lose?  He’s won (nearly?) every pre-Oscars award he could, and I think his performance was great.

Best Actress
I’m usually horrible at seeing the movies with the nominees of this category, and this year is no different.  I’ve only seen Precious, and Gabourey Sidibe gave quite the amazing performance, and I’d probably vote for her.  However, the debate has been going over two veteran actresses, Sandra Bullock and Ms. Oscar herself Meryl Streep. I’m kind of rooting against Bullock simply because it seems the only reason she’s getting looked at is for playing “against type,” which really means simply you dug yourself into a type in the first place and now, look, you’re changing!  If Sidibe doesn’t win, how about another young actress, Carey Mulligan (An Education)?

Best Director
In another Avatar/Hurt Locker competition, it’s ex-spouses James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow.  I truly think Bigelow’s achievement in directing is the best, but watch out to see if Quentin Tarantino‘s fans could pull him through for Inglourious Basterds.

Best Animated Feature
So, I’ve only seen Up and Fantastic Mr. Fox.  Both were great in their own way, but Up was such a roller coaster of emotions and drama, it read like any live action film (perhaps that’s why it also finds itself in the Best Film category).  Either could win and I’d be happy, but it seems to be Up’s trophy to lose.

Best Supporting Actress and Supporting Actor
The final two categories I’m going to profile also seem to be locked up, with Mo’Nique getting the nod for Precious (another “against type” billing?) and Christoph Waltz for Inglourious Basterds.  In a rare achievement for me, I’ve seen ALL the actresses in this category and NONE of the men.  Of the nominated women, Mo’Nique’s performance is definitely tops, and for the men — well, I just can’t say.

I hope you enjoyed this rundown.  Check out the Oscars live Sunday night, 7 March on ABC, and of course, coverage to be found elsewhere, too:
Entertainment Weekly
Yahoo! Movies
ABC News


my favorite movies of the 2000s’ #1, #2, and #3

Wednesday 30 December 2009

So we finally made it to the top 3! (I agree – doing this in a week or less probably would have been advisable.) In any case, I’ve enjoyed writing this list and hope you’ve enjoyed having a chance to see it. As a bonus today, I’m adding 5 more movies to make it a top 30 (though you won’t get any descriptions, sorry). I’ll refer you back to my first post on this subject for movies I still haven’t seen so they couldn’t make the list, as well as the general description of the list itself.

(See previous days’ posts for descriptions of the other movies on the list.) I hope you enjoy and post your comments somewhere for me to see any omissions or suggestions! Happy New Year!

#30: Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
#29: Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army (2004)
#28: Wordplay (2006)
#27: Children of Men (2006)
#26: Donnie Darko (2001)
#25: (500) Days of Summer (2009)
#24: FLOW: For Love Of Water (2008)
#23: In The Bedroom (2001)

#22: House of Sand and Fog (2003)
#21: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)

#20: Wo Hu Cang Long (2000)
#19: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)

#18: Hable con Ella (2002)
#17: The Wrestler (2008)

#16: Revolutionary Road (2008)
#15: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

#14: Hotel Rwanda (2004)
#13: Elephant (2003)

#12: Moulin Rouge! (2001)
#11: Juno (2007)

#10: Spellbound (2002)
#9: The Weather Underground (2002)

#8: Requiem for a Dream (2000)
#7: Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)

#6: All the Real Girls (2003)
#5: Cidade de Deus (2002)
#4: Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)

#3: Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple (2006)
When I saw this movie, I decided that if I were to make a documentary, this would be my model and inspiration. Jonestown combines rare footage and audio of the goings on of the Peoples Temple, both in California and later in Guyana, with interviews with former members of P.T. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Don’t drink the kool-aid,” and Jonestown is where that came from. You have a vibrant leader, Jim Jones, who does talk about some great things of social justice and community, but unfortunately he uses his power in harmful ways again women and other followers and Peoples Temple becomes a cult. It also makes an excellent case that this was not a case of mass suicide, but of pred-meditated murder. It’s powerful and provocative and a true must-see!

#2: Le fabuleux destin d’Amélie Poulain (2001) (Amélie)
I’m lucky that I saw this movie in the theater, as it was still early in my accumulation to the wonders of foreign film. I fell in love with this movie quickly, as the opening sequence where the various characters are introduced is so original and beautiful I just couldn’t help myself. It’s quirky and stylized (when I showed it to my parents, they just didn’t get it), but it’s also sweet and romantic like any good love story should be. Audrey Tautou‘s smile lights up the screen, and the appearance of a gnome throughout made me smile. And I’m not really sure if it would be as beautiful, either, if it weren’t in French; that just adds to the charm factor. Maybe this film isn’t for everyone (as my parents would contend), but can’t imagine life without it.

#1: The Corporation (2003)
I feel very comfortable making a documentary my #1 film of the decade, because I think films should make a difference in your life, and documentaries often times do.  And of all the films I’ve seen, I’m pretty sure this is my most recommended. I’ve lent out my copy on multiple occasions (feel free to request it yourself, or watch it online here) because the information is too powerful to be kept quiet. Based on a book by the same name, it operates on the premise that current corporations, in many of the ways they are operated today, would be defined as psychopaths if they were actually human. You see how corporations have done everything from patented genetic material (Monsanto owns most crop seeds now) to externalized costs the government picks up (where would automotive makers be without roads?), not to mention the environmental toll many corporations take on the environment. Perhaps the real culprit is industrialization, but since we can’t go back in time there, it’s up to us to patrol how corporations are operated. It is thought provoking and eye-opening, and if it doesn’t cause you to change at least some lifestyle practice, then you weren’t paying attention. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I implore you to see it as soon as possible, but definitely before the coming year is over. It will rock your world, as any good film should!


my favorite movies of the 2000s, #4, #5, and #6

Tuesday 29 December 2009

OK, so I’m pushing the end up a little, mostly because all the links every day are driving me a bit crazy!  I still hope to give you a bonus post/list on N.Y.E., but not promises at this point.  Enjoy what you have for now, and come back tomorrow night for #1!

#25: (500) Days of Summer (2009)
#24: FLOW: For Love Of Water (2008)
#23: In The Bedroom (2001)

#22: House of Sand and Fog (2003)
#21: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)

#20: Wo Hu Cang Long (2000)
#19: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)

#18: Hable con Ella (2002)
#17: The Wrestler (2008)

#16: Revolutionary Road (2008)
#15: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

#14: Hotel Rwanda (2004)
#13: Elephant (2003)

#12: Moulin Rouge! (2001)
#11: Juno (2007)

#10: Spellbound (2002)
#9: The Weather Underground (2002)

#8: Requiem for a Dream (2000)
#7: Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)

#6: All the Real Girls (2003)
This is another love story on my list, and once again it’s not a conventional one.  This is perhaps the most realistic portrayal of boy meets girl and what follows that I’ve seen in film.  David Gordon Green (director of George Washington, another movie to check out) does a great job showing those small things that happen along that make and/or break a relationship.  It’s a nice character study, too, and just so intimate in all the details you’re really able to feel what the characters are feeling.  I won’t give away any more; you just have to see it to understand.

#5: Cidade de Deus (2002) (City of God)
This is another movie I saw too long ago to really remember, but I do clearly remember the poignancy and intimacy it treats its characters.  It’s the story of two boys growing up in Rio and the paths their lives take.  Perhaps with the Olympics heading there 2016, it would be interesting to see this fiction account of one part of the city.  I wish I could say more about this movie, but I saw it soon after its release and need to see it again to share any more specifics.  All I have now is the feeling this movie gave me, which is amazing.

#4: Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005)
The first time I saw this movie I found it a bit odd but intriguing (perhaps similarly to feelings I had for Magnolia, my favorite movie of the 1990s.  But then I saw it again, and I was completely pulled into the personal and intimate look at the characters portrayed.  There is the odd to be sure, like the young boys talking dirtily to a woman online about… well, watch it to see.  But Miranda July, the write and star, pulls you into the story in ways that can usually only happen in a book.  Her character is fragile and insecure, and the brilliance of this movie is how it makes us realize just how fragile and insecure we all are (what else could that title mean?).


my favorite movies of the 2000s, #7 and #8

Monday 28 December 2009

Are you itching for me to finish?  Look out, and I may get done before the 31st!

(These links go to previous post on these movies.)
#25: (500) Days of Summer (2009)

#24: FLOW: For Love Of Water (2008)
#23: In The Bedroom (2001)

#22: House of Sand and Fog (2003)
#21: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)

#20: Wo Hu Cang Long (2000)
#19: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)

#18: Hable con Ella (2002)
#17: The Wrestler (2008)

#16: Revolutionary Road (2008)
#15: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

#14: Hotel Rwanda (2004)
#13: Elephant (2003)

#12: Moulin Rouge! (2001)
#11: Juno (2007)

#10: Spellbound (2002)
#9: The Weather Underground (2002)

#8: Requiem for a Dream (2000)
This movie will depress you.  This movie will make you thankful you’re living the life you live.  This movie will challenge your ideas on addiction.  And this movie, in its final scenes, may end up being too much.  But even with all that, I love this movie.  In this movie, we get to see characters give in to drug addictions and the horrible repercussions that ensue.  But these aren’t characters that you could care less about, for the beauty of things is that you learn to love the characters before they fall.  Darren Aronofsky (director of another favorite movie of mine, Pi, he also directed #17: The Wrestler), brilliantly pulls together characters and scenes that horrify and astound you.  This movie should be shown in every high school (or junior high) in the country as a realistic view of the horrors of drugs.

#7: Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)
After I saw this movie at the Milwaukee International Film Festival, I wrote a blog encouraging people to see this movie.  Then, over a year later, it finally found distribution and I saw it again in DC, and it was just as good as I remembered.  Based on a short story by Etgar Keret (a great writer himself: check him out) called “Kneller’s Happy Campers,” the movie takes place in a world where everyone has committed suicide.  You follow the main character who sets out to find his former love and girlfriend after he finds out she committed suicide, too, after he had died himself.  It’s not your standard love story, too be sure, and that’s what makes it such a good movie.  The characters are eccentric and quirky, another bonus.  If you can find it, watch it!


my favorite movies of the 2000s, #9 and #10, and top 11 documentaries!

Sunday 27 December 2009

We’ve finally made it to the top ten — that means 5 days left in 2009 and the decade!  Today you get two documentaries, and to liven things up, I’ve decided to add a bonus list, too: my top 11documentaries of the decade!  It means you’ll get a sneak peak at a few of the movies to come in my overall list, which is fine by me.  I have another bonus feature coming, too, but let’s do the #9 and #10 of the decade first, and then see the documentaries below that!

First, previous movies in the top 25 list (remember, these are my favorite of those I’ve seen this decade — see the link to movie #25 for a description of the list and the other movie links for previous descriptions):
#25: (500) Days of Summer (2009)
#24: FLOW: For Love Of Water (2008)
#23: In The Bedroom (2001)

#22: House of Sand and Fog (2003)
#21: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)

#20: Wo Hu Cang Long (2000)
#19: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)

#18: Hable con Ella (2002)
#17: The Wrestler (2008)

#16: Revolutionary Road (2008)
#15: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

#14: Hotel Rwanda (2004)
#13: Elephant (2003)

#12: Moulin Rouge! (2001)
#11: Juno (2007)

#10: Spellbound (2002)
Because I’m a big fan of documentaries (there are a total of 6 in my top 25, and 4 in my top 10!), I tend to see a good amount of breakouts in the theaters before they catch on with others, and I was lucky enough to see this one on the big screen as well.  It’s a basic premise: make a documentary covering the National Spelling Bee, doing individual features on a few of the participants along the way.  I think part of the genius is that spelling bee participants have to be pre-high school students, so the focus is on kids and their families.  You have first timers and those who have been there before.  Every one of them studies, but the amount varies drastically.  You have participants with rigorous study habits and private coaches, with parents pushing them all the way.  You have participants with language tutors (a lot of spelling is about etymology).  Some rely mostly on what they know already and are more laissez faire about it.  Personalities range from serious to bubbly to outright odd.  In the end, it’s a fun and suspenseful movie that leaves a smile on your face, something lacking from many scripted movies being put out these days.

#9: The Weather Underground (2002)
Without last year’s presidential campaign, most people would never have heard about the Weathermen.  But luckily for me, there was some kind of connection of Bill Ayers, one of the Weathermen, to now-President Obama, so it’s at least a recognizable group now.  (Bob Dylan mentioned them, too: “You don’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”)  In any case, this documentary details the doings of the “radical” (debatable) group acting out west during the Vietnam War protests.  You get some historical footage along with present day interviews with former members (a trio died in the building of a bomb) to make a very engaging and thought provoking story.  No matter your opinion of such protest strategies, you get a good view of what was happening during that time in history and what the Weathermen were seeking to do.

And here are my top 11 favorite documentaries (I’ve seen) of the decade!  (Since 1-6 are in the general top #25 list and 7-9 in a soon to be released bonus list, I’ve only provided descriptions to #10 and #11 right now, but this page will change with other links as the year continues!):

1. The Corporation (2003)
2. Jonestown (2006)
3. The Weather Underground (2002)
4. Spellbound (2002)
5. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)
6. FLOW: For Love Of Water (2008)
7. Wordplay (2006)
8.  Neverland: The Rise and Fall of the Symbionese Liberation Army (2004)
9.  Capturing the Friedmans (2003)
10. The Natural History of the Chicken (2000)
I’m not actually sure if I saw this entire movie, but what I did see is enough to get it on this list.  This movie is a precursor to other “investigative” movies like FLOW and Food, Inc., but with a twist.  It’s a combination of vignettes about chickens (as the title implies).  You see a bit about chickens in factory coops (and their overcrowding).  You get to see a woman with her pet chicken.  You get to hear about complaints of neighbors because of disruptive chickens nearby.  We don’t think about chickens very much, but this movie put a nice personal touch on them.  I saw this in a film class and then headed to lunch where they were serving my favorite dish, marinated chicken.  I site it as one of the instigating factors in my vegetarianism!
11.  Food, Inc. (2008)
I just saw this movie this past summer (in a theater, so that 2008 date may be a bit off) and really enjoyed it.  There was a lot of information that didn’t surprise me, but a lot of new info, too.  In all, it tells the story of the industrialization of food into lots of “food like substances,” make with lots and lots of high fructose corn syrup.    There’s too much other information to detail here, but with it now out on DVD, you really should check it out (you can borrow my copy).  It will hopefully make you think more about the “food” you’re eating and the choices you make when putting things into your body.


my favorite movies of the 2000s, #11 and #12

Saturday 26 December 2009

I’m hoping you’re enjoying counting down the days until the end of the year by counting down my favorite movies of the decade!  If you haven’t read previous posts, use the links below to see the other movies on the list so far, and get ready for the top ten, soon to be unveiled!

#25: (500) Days of Summer (2009)
#24: FLOW: For Love Of Water (2008)
#23: In The Bedroom (2001)

#22: House of Sand and Fog (2003)
#21: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2003)

#20: Wo Hu Cang Long (2000)
#19: Le Scaphandre et le Papillon (2007)

#18: Hable con Ella (2002)
#17: The Wrestler (2008)

#16: Revolutionary Road (2008)
#15: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (2001)

#14: Hotel Rwanda (2004)
#13: Elephant (2003)

#12: Moulin Rouge! (2001)
The highest movie/musical on my list, even though almost all the songs are not original to the movie itself.  I pretty much love everything about this movie: the music, the story, the fun had by all.  While it may not be all fun and games (I mean, you need some conflict to drive any story), it’s commitment to beauty, freedom, truth, and love throughout is ultimately uplifting.  “Come What May,” my favorite song in the movie (and an important part of the plot), recognizes the challenges of love and relationships and the sadness that can happen when love is lost.  Ultimately, it’s a movie for the romantic and the realist in me, which really is a perfect combination.

#11: Juno (2007)
When I read the brief review of this movie in Entertainment Weekly (this was before it blew up), I knew it sounded like the kind of movie I’d enjoy.  When I saw it in the theater (still before its huge popularity), I was not disappointed.  It’s an eccentrically funny movie about a serious topic: teen pregnancy.  It has the quick wit and sardonic wisdom of the Gilmore Girls (a favorite TV show of mine) with dialogue you’d never heard in real life.  You laugh at and with the quirky characters as they make the best out of the situations set before them.  Ellen Page and Michael Cera make a great “couple” as Juno and Bleeker, stumbling through a challenging situation neither of them signed up for.  I saw this movie three times in a theater and a few times on video now, and it still makes me smile – a good indicator for any movie.  (It has a pretty sweet soundtrack, too.)


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