A few months ago a friend of mine mentioned that when Lord of the Rings came out he became distrustful of anyone who didn’t “get” the movie. He would become uncommunicative towards the person based on their rating of the flick. If they didn’t LOVE those hobbits to death, he didn’t want to associate with them anymore.
At first I laughed. Then I started to think about it and realized he was completely justified in his actions, he had just picked the wrong film to be upset about. I began thinking about which films I would de-friend a friend for disliking. It quickly became apparent that I would have no friends left if I posted the full list of films I love to bits.
I then tried to limit it to films that I would have to walk away from people if they said they weren’t into it rather than punch them in the face for their views. Even with that stipulation the list was long and included Ghost World and The Sandlot. I decided that while I love many films I probably wouldn’t get my hate on to the degree I would with other films so I narrowed it down. These are the five films that you must love if you want to continue to hang out with me. It’s selfish, of course, but if you can’t see the beauty in Gelsomina’s face while she dances around in La Strada, you are dead to me.
La Strada (1954)
Gelsomina is one of my very favourite characters of all time. Even in her saddest moments she is stunning and full of life and humour. Please don’t tell me you can’t sit through black and white cinema with subtitles (if you tell me this I will probably wound you regardless of whether or not you like the rest of the films on this list), I assure you for this Fellini film you can. One look at Gelsomina’s face after she has been put down by the man who she works for is, I think, enough to sell anyone on how powerful this movie is.
Annie Hall (1977)
I show Annie Hall to people a few weeks into meeting them so I can quickly decide whether or not I want to invest in them in the future. I saw Annie Hall for the first time when I was 19 and fell completely in love. Alvy and Annie embody what it’s like to be in a relationship that isn’t going to work out. If you fail to see yourself in at least one of the characters you aren’t being honest with yourself. I like everything about this movie, from the characters nuances to the style to the ending. Alvy stating that just knowing Annie was fun is my favourite moment in the film.
Star Wars (at least one…I’ll even let you pick which) (1977-2005)
Even if you for some reason really dug Clone Wars, we can still be friends. All I ask is that you appreciate one of the Star Wars films on pretty much any level you choose. While I want to strongly suggest you pick A New Hope or The Empire Strikes Back as your lover, I will accept substitutes. I started watching Star Wars when I was about 8 years old. My uncle is a sci-fi junkie and he introduced me to the series. From the moment Luke looks at those twin suns on Tatooine, I was hooked. Click here to experience how deep my love for these films goes.
Rushmore (1998) or La Science Des Reves (Science of Sleep) (2006)
I struggled between putting Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums in this spot but have decided that once you see (and love) Rushmore you will want to see other Wes Anderson films anyway and therefore will come to appreciate Royal just as much as Rushmore. However, if you can’t for some reason understand my love for Rushmore, perhaps you will be able to understand my love for Science of Sleep. There is nothing sadder than unrequited love and both of these films have it in spades. I’m a sucker for heartbreak, I guess. If you don’t believe there is an extreme amount of depth in saying “I saved Latin” or “I am your neighbor and a liar” perhaps it’s best we go our separate ways.