Well, we’re all stuck in our homes and that means our TVs have become an even bigger part of our lives than they already were. Many of us have already exhausted the good options on Netflix – hands up, who didn’t burn through Ozark in just a few days?
As some of you know, I reviewed movies for the Prince Rupert Daily News (the column actually won a provincial award), as well as took a week-long film school intensive on Galiano Island (it was like being at Camp Crystal lake). I’m a huge movie buff, which is why, unlike a lot of people, I didn’t start clearing my DVD shelf when Netflix came along. I think of them as being like music albums, with the art and added features.
Anyway, movies are a great escape and indulgence at this time and, so, I thought I would remind you of some wonderful movies that you should check out. Most of these movies are also pretty old so should be new to many of you. This list is not a Best of (although, I believe, some are) list, necessarily, but movies I think will make you feel good and have a good laugh. So, in no particular order:
Okay, if this were a Best Movies of All Time list, Amelie would be at or near the top. The story of an innocent, naïve girl in Paris, who takes great interest in helping troubled people around her and along the way, finds love herself.
Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and starring Audrey Tautou, there are several storylines connected to the main character, who is as sweet and magnetic as any lead in any movie ever. Beautifully shot, with cool effects, Amelie is also a pleasure just to look at.
So, if you want to warm your heart, smile like an idiot, and enjoy a near perfect movie, you must watch this. It is subtitled so this is a great chance for those of you who have finally gotten over your aversion to “reading movies” after the success of Parasite, to continue on with discovering foreign movies which, by and large, are superior to American movies.
WHAT’S UP, DOC? (1972)
A screwball romantic comedy that features Barbara Streisand as a college girl who falls for a nerdy musicologist (Ryan O’Neal), What’s up, Doc, centres on the story of them falling in love even though Howard (O’Neal) has a fiancé, played by the always hilarious Madeline Kahn, in her first feature film.
There is also a sub-plot involving several identical overnight bags that get mixed up and leads to one of the greatest chase scenes in movie history – certainly the greatest that doesn’t involve killing. It’s kind of like watching a live action Bugs Bunny episode.
THE RETURN OF THE PINK PANTHER (1975)
The best of the Pink Panther series, starring the great Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau. I watched this last night with my little guy and we howled. Non-stop laughs as the idiot inspector bumbles his way through his search for the diamond seemingly stolen by his nemesis, the Phantom. A great running joke is the frequent shots taken at Sellers’ absurd French accent.
HEAVEN CAN WAIT (1978)
Warren Beatty stars as a star pro quarterback who is wrongly taken to Heaven by a rookie angel who assumed he was going to die in a car accident. Unfortunately, he is cremated and doesn’t have a body to go back to so he is put in the body of a millionaire industrialist, Joe Pendleton, but still tries to get to the Super Bowl in that body. Along the way, he meets a beautiful activist (Julie Christie) and survives a number of murder attempts by his wife (Dyan Cannon) and lover (Charles Grodin), along the way.
With a great supporting cast that also includes Buck Henry, James Mason and Jack Warden, this is a touching and funny flick. I especially like Warden, as Joe’s trainer and only person who knows about the body switcheroo.
Based in the Vietnam war ... Just kidding!