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Monday, August 13, 2012

Five Best Plus: Movies I Own That Call My Manhood into Question

Host Chris Harrison courtesy
Ask any of my high school friends - I've never really been ashamed about being a little bit more "sensitive." I wasn't a closet *NSync fan - I liked them and didn't deny it. I publicly serenaded two girls I never even dated, for God's sake. But nowadays, I get a hard time at my office because I have essentially turned in my "man card," especially since I've watched a few too many seasons of "The Bachelor/ette." But, in my expansive DVD/Blu Ray collection, I still only own a few films that really put a black mark on my masculinity record. Today, I will confess to them all - here they are, with a list of my justifications for owning each and why I'm not ashamed. This should be liberating.

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Can't Hardly Wait (1998)

  • It came out while I was in high school and it is, in fact, about high school kids. See the connection?
  • I was in love with Jennifer Love Hewitt at the time, regardless of how bad an actress she is.
  • I didn't own this movie until recently, when my brother decided to get rid of a lot of DVDs. So I took it from him (along with a bunch of others) for very little money.
  • It's a surprisingly funny movie. Seth Green is great in it, I love Ethan Embree's hopeless romantic performance, and the kid who was in Dick Tracy and Hook (Charlie Korsmo) is pretty good. It's like if the American Pie films cleaned it up a bit and focused less on the dirty humor, but still managed to appeal to a younger demographic.
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Cruel Intentions (1999)

  • This was the first DVD I remember purchasing on my own, so it holds some weird nostalgia to it. I think I bought it at K-Mart.
  • It's pretty campy and fun - crazy melodramatic and overdone, but a blast. 
  • It's based on the Pierre Choderlos de Laclos novel Les Liaisons dangereuses. So it's a classic novel adaptation. That makes it legit, right?
  • I don't remember why I originally saw this movie, but odds are it had something to do with Selma Blair and Sarah Michelle Gellar kissing.
  • Ryan Phillipe is pretty good in the film as the snarky rich kid, and it's funny to see a time when he and Reese Witherspoon were in love...or just beginning it, anyway.
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Moulin Rouge! (2001)

  • Hey - this movie was nominated for Best Picture. That has to hold some weight.
  • I like musicals (yeah...I know) and I like the use of pop hits in a film that doesn't really take place in a contemporary setting.
  • Baz Luhrmann made a pretty fun version of Romeo and Juliet - I enjoy his style, to a point. Plus, Ewan McGregor is a good actor, and it's fun to see him in a role like this.
  • I'm a softy for an unrequited love story, especially when it has a medley of love songs that takes place in an elephant.
  • It's all over the place - lots of colors, camera movement, and insanity.

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Pearl Harbor (2001)

  • I know - this thing puts a mark on my movie snob board also. In retrospect, it's not just cheesy, but terrible. Just not a good film at all.
  • I originally bought it because I loved the attack scene. And I'll stick to that. For no other reason that the explosions.
  • Kate Beckinsale is gorgeous. I don't think I have to explain anything after that.
  • I really can't support this one as well as my others. I'm kind of disappointed in myself for still owning this.
  • Seriously - I got rid of My Best Friend's Wedding, but still own this one? I need to take a hard look at my life.

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Chicago (2002)

  • Again, I like musicals. Well, good musicals, anyway. I actually saw this movie in the theater twice. Once by myself and once at a dinner and a movie place with some friends in Johnstown, PA.
  • The film won Best Picture (though undeservedly so). Regardless, it's still a good movie.
  • I really don't care for Renee Zellwegger in the film (or in anything really), but the rest of the cast is great. Catherine Zeta Jones is terrific, Richard Gere is a lot of fun, and Queen Latifah gives a standout performance.
  • Rob Marshall's approach to the musical numbers is innovative, in that a number of them get performed in sort of a fantasy/dream sequence way. It's different than what I'm used to.
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My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) 

  • It's a funny little independent film that I watched for a film class and went out and bought afterward.
  • It's a clever, Oscar nominated screenplay, regardless of how downhill Nia Vardalos and her career has gone since.
  • The supporting cast is magnificent. Yes, a number of them play pretty one dimensional roles, but they are funny enough to make the film an enjoyable experience.
  • I like that Vardalos has her husband in the film, but not as her love interest. I wonder if that got uncomfortable on set.
  • It's produced by Tom Hanks and his wife. I trust his better judgment (this was before The Da Vinci Code, mind you).

My wife has a number of films that either I bought for her or she had before we met, but I don't consider those "mine." That being said, I love Little Women (1994).

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