Friday, December 16, 2011

Movie Madame

My boyfriend has taught me many things. He introduced me to alternative comedy and comedians who I now know and love. He convinced me to trust him and go with him on the subway during our trip to New York. Even though I consider myself a sushi expert, he told me about an off-the-menu spicy tuna roll at our favorite place, and now I can’t imagine my life without it!

In addition to those things, he has also taught me to love movies. Now, don’t get me wrong – I always LIKED movies. I have always been the girl who would much rather go to a nice dinner and new release rather than a crazy night out at the club. But since starting to date Rami, who graduated from an Ivy League school with a degree in film, I have learned so much more about movies!

It’s almost 2012, and apparently, the end of the year is the time when film geeks worldwide start compiling their “Top Ten” lists – deciding which films, out of all the ones they saw during the year, were their favorite and their best. This is an entirely new concept to me, but Rami has been hard at work on his own Top Ten list… so I figured, why not do my own?

This year alone, I saw THIRTY FIVE movies. 29 of them were with R – this year, he saw more than 70! When I took the time to write them all down and think about them, I couldn’t believe how many there were. That’s like THREE DAYS STRAIGHT watching movies!

So here is MY list of MY favorite movies of 2011. Please remember: I am NOT a professional film critic – I just date one :)

10. Happy Feet 2 – I hadn’t seen the original Happy Feet til Rami and I watched it on DVD at home, and I instantly fell in love with the penguins – especially Baby Mumble, the penguin baby! Once R told me that the sequel featured a TON of baby penguins, I knew we had to see it. It was super cute and kept my attention the whole time, despite being a movie for little kids :) (Sidenote - am I the only one who really likes when super famous people voice cartoon characters?)


9. 50/50 – Oh, Rami and I BOTH cried like babies during this one. I am a huge fan of Seth Rogan and I liked seeing him stretch beyond his usual stoner/frat boy persona. I also thought Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a great job of conveying the complex emotions behind a cancer diagnosis at a young age.

8. Like Crazy – What I liked about Like Crazy is that it was a different kind of love story. Most of the time, I feel like romantic movies don’t have enough at stake – I always feel like no matter what happens, the couple will end up together in the end. I didn’t have that feeling while watching Like Crazy – that uncertainty kept me invested in the couple throughout the film.

7. The Help – I am basically the only woman in America who DIDN’T read the book – I know, I really need to – but more than the interesting story, I thought that it was incredibly well-acted. Rumor has it that some of these ladies will get Academy Award nominations from their performances in this film, and I agree that they’re deserving of all accolades!


6. Crazy Stupid Love – Basically, I like everyone in this movie. Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, and the MOST GORGEOUS HUMAN BEING ALIVE Ryan Gosling? There was no way it was going to be bad. This was just a fun film to watch – and I LOVED the surprise at the end!

5. Shame – Rami started preparing me for this movie days before we saw it. He’s very good about making sure he warns me about movies he considers “off the beaten path” – he made sure to tell me that Shame had a lot of nudity and graphic sex. Though those are not things I usually like about films, I found that my feelings of discomfort actually increased my appreciation of this movie. It wasn’t like the nudity or sex was gratuitous or NOT essential to the film’s plot; rather, these elements were completely necessary and seemed designed to elicit uncomfortable feelings from the audience.

4. The Ides of March – I think the mark of a good movie is one you are thinking about long after it ends. Besides featuring two of my all-time favorite actors (and eye candy) Ryan Gosling and George Clooney, I thought that this film’s strength was in its ambiguity – I didn’t feel as though I was being led to believe one person was entirely “good” or “bad”, which seems truthful to how people in politics really behave. Another interesting thing about this film is that my mom and I had completely differing views on a certain plot point, increasing the feeling of ambiguity.

3. Bridesmaids – I NEED to own Bridesmaids on DVD. I saw it once, in May, in the theater, and yet some scenes are permanently etched into my mind! (Yes, I’m obviously talking about the bathroom scene.) I am a huge fan of Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, and Melissa McCarthy, and if the rumors about a sequel are true, I’ll be there opening night for sure! An all-around amazing comedy with amazing female participation, both in front of and behind the cameras.


2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – The Harry Potter books and movies will always have a special place in my heart. As a lifelong lover of books, I can honestly say that I have never felt more strongly about a group of characters before in my life, and the movies do an amazing job of capturing those feelings of comfort and familiarity. I cried hysterically when this movie was over – not only because of the plot, but also because I couldn’t believe that that was the last film.

1. Drive – I can honestly say that Drive was one of the most unique movies I’ve ever seen. I was not at all familiar with the plot or the director before I sat down in my seat – I had no idea what to expect. While the film itself definitely scared me a few times (I had to hide my face), it is definitely the movie that I have talked about or referenced the most during the months after. I downloaded one of the songs from the soundtrack and whenever I listen to it, I think about the movie. I’m not a huge fan of re-watching films, but I definitely want to see or even buy this one when it comes out on DVD.


So there you have it! (I can only imagine the MASSIVE smile on Rami’s face right now… he’s definitely thinking “WHAT HAVE I DONE!?”) This weekend I’ll add another film to the list (Young Adult) and next week, I’m planning on seeing New Year’s Eve with some friends. So my total will really be 37! Crazy.

What was the best movie YOU saw all year? I really want to know!

(Oh, and you have a couple more days to enter the Stella & Dot giveaway. YALL! What are you waiting for?!)


Grace - Stripes and Sequins said...

What a great list! I'm impressed with how many movies you saw this year!!!

Anonymous said...

I love that this is probably the only year end list that has Drive, Shame, Happy Feet 2 AND the Help on it. I love that it is so personal. Your bf sounds very lucky. And even if he did correct you on the spelling of Seth Rogen's name I don't think he was at all trying to make you feel bad.

Mandy @ In the Fashion Lane said...

This is awesome! I still need to see half of these. I love what the BF is teaching you! He should be so proud!

Anonymous said...

I hope we get another list in 2012. Also, have you wanted to retroactively add any other movies released in 2011 to your list? Could you do a follow up post if you're still thinking about Drive and if so what are you thinking about it? What do you make of the fact that Ryan Gosling appears on this list three times and Emma Stone appears on it twice.