AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Passions List
I always like to check out what the old stodgy folk think are the greatest films of all time. They just released a list of their favorite chick flicks er romantic movies of all time. These are the same people that said that Tootsie was the second best comedy of the 20th Century so I’m about to put my money in their choices around the same time that I decide that it’s finally a good time to get back into Enron stock.
If I were choosing this list, I would choose the ultimate second date type movies. IE, the movie I want to rent the first time I bring a chick over to my place and want her to know what a wonderful and lovable romantic fool that I am. For some reason, I always choose teen movies. Adult movie romances usually wind up to be heartbreaking and depressing. I would categorize these movies as love is impossible movies. The ones that you rent by yourself when you are alone and in a no one will ever understand what a wonderful person I am moments. These count as romance movies because hopefully you eventually meet someone who has rented them for the same reason and you can bond by acknowledging how somehow the rest of the world doesn’t understand.
Anyway, my first reaction is “Where are the John Hughes movies?” Where is Sixteen Candles? My first ever real date was a showing of Pretty in Pink and I had already seen it once before alone.
Other reliable second date movies for me are The Princess Bride, which actually made the list, and Sean Penn in Racing With the Moon, as good of a look how sensitive yet manly I am don’t I deserve to be loved movie as there ever was. Decipher for yourself how eerie it is that Sean Penn wound up marrying the Princess Bride in real life.
Nevertheless, the key to my romantic history has always been the work of John Cusack, and he is nowhere on the list. Every movie this guy makes is like he ripped it right out of my soul. Better Off Dead, The Sure Thing, High Fidelity, Gross Point Blank, Con Air!
Of course, the biggest and most brutal was Say Anything. That movie was so my life that I caught myself foolishly using the exact same words. How harsh is it when you sell a girl on how romantic a movie is, and then you are faced with a crisis just like in the movie, but you don’t get the happy ending. What’s up with that? It’s boy gets girl; boy loses girl; boy gets girl back. Didn’t you ever watch the fucking love boat? Where is my third act? Where is my hug from Julie the Cruise director? Entertainment Weekly just named Say Anything the most romantic movie of all time, but somehow it got left off the old fogie list. Maybe someday someone will remake it in French and they’ll reconsider.
My Thoughts on the List
1) Casablanca – Good choice but just more proof that the idea of how love is impossible and unrealizable is almost more romantic than setting up a house with someone. It always cracks me up when they play “As Time Goes By” at weddings. Hello that was the song that reminded them about how miserable they were!
2) Gone With the Wind – I think I’ve mentioned my aversion to Southern People in movies so excuse me for never putting in the 8 or so hours to watch this all star spectacular. Does Rhett Butler really rape Scarlet? What’s so romantic about that? I love that about old films. Somehow men are allowed to force themselves on women and instead of calling the police everyone swoons. Anyway, I’m guessing that it wouldn’t work for me.
3) West Side Story – I saw like half of it at my Aunt’s. If I was with a girl who dug it then I’d probably enjoy it too. Until then it’s not getting rented.
5) Roman Holiday
6) An Affair to Remember – This is the most overrated movie of all time. Nora Ephron decided it was brilliant and said so in Sleepless in Seattle and suddenly everyone decided that it was the greatest thing ever. Here’s the truth. The first half is really cool, but the second half is more cloying than Barbra Streisand at her worst. Cary Grant proves himself by becoming an artist, but on the way to meet him on top of the Empire State Building Deborah Kerr gets hit by a Mack Truck. For some reason she finds herself unable to tell Cary and they and the audience both suffer in pain for like another 60 minutes. In the meantime, we have to put up with much singing to cherubic orphans. Ladies if your man tells you that he loves this he is lying just like he is when he tells you that he really wants to be there with you in the operating room to watch you give birth.
7) Dr. Zhivago – never seen it but I liked how Quentin Tarantino used it as a metaphor for a coke deal in True Romance. What, True Romance isn’t on this list? What the hell is that?
8) It’s a Wonderful Life – Sure I cry every time, but damn it sure is a mostly bleak and discouraging life isn’t it. Jimmy Stewart half wants to kill Donna Reed for making him fall in love with her. I’ve always been much more into Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town and Pride of the Yankees all left off this silly list
9) Love Story – I just don’t get why girls love seeing people in love fall victim to fatal diseases. Never have probably never will. Sometimes I think that women don’t want to fall in love they just want to cry about it not working out.
10) City Lights – I romanced my girl with Harold Lloyd. Chaplin was too saccharine for my tastes.
11) Annie Hall – I never understand why everyone thinks that this is such a masterwork. Their relationship doesn’t really work out. Woody is a creepy loser. The movie breaks out into a Monty Python sketch every fifteen minutes or so and I have no interest in seeing my women in three piece suits.
12) My Fair Lady – If you’re really really hot I will watch it with you.
13) Out of Africa – Just say no to any movie with Meryl Streep and an accent. The only time I ever liked her was in Albert Brooks’ Defending Your Life. “The Dingo ate my baby!”
14) The African Queen – Nice but I’m guessing those two still haven’t slept together yet.
15) Wuthering Heights – “What if I were Heathcliffe it’s no myth.” Didn’t see it. Didn’t read it. Read the Cliff Notes got a B.
16) Singing in the Rain – fun but I don’t remember thinking about Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds when I think of people in love.
17) Moonstruck Ahh Olivia Dukakis, Cher, Nic Cage – never seen it probably never will. I hate bad accents!
18) Vertigo – Dude this movie is warped. Jimmy Stewart goes totally psycho. If this is you and your woman’s movie get help immediately.
19) Ghost- “Girl you in trouble!” I admit it all that clay gave me a hard on too.
20) From Here to Eternity – Never seen it but I’d love to do you on the beach some night as the surf gently caresses our bodies.
21) Pretty Woman – Reason enough to be scared about the future of America. Millions of little girls who want to be prostitutes but nice ones like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman.
22) On Golden Pond – I dig it despite that “You’re my knight in shining armor” crap. I love that scene where Henry Fonda tells Dabney Coleman that he can violate his daughter in the cabin all he wants as long as Kate doesn’t find out.
23) Now Voyager – maybe later
24) King Kong – What is it with these old people and the Empire State Building?
25) When Harry Met Sally – Funny, Sweet, I’m running to propose to Meg too, although I’m probably proposing to her Top Gun character first.
26) The Lady Eve – my mom’s name is Eve.
27) The Sound of Music – my Aunt worships this movie. Personally, the relationship seems a bit chaste for me. I bet Paul McCartney and Heather love it.
28) The Shop Around the Corner – I’ve been saving this for a new girlfriend for like three years now. Sigh. Apparently, Nora Ephron is a better film critic than Roger Ebert look what she did for this, Casablanca in When Harry Met Sally and Affair in Sleepless.
29) An Officer and a Gentleman – I dig it. I dig the ending, but mostly I dig Richard Gere punching that guy’s nose through his brain outside that bar.
30) Swing Time – An amusing trifle. Sweet but shallow with some nice dancing. Maybe the reason musical’s died is because they could finally just start showing the couple having sex.
31) The King and I – Never seen it but if the bald guy gets laid I’m all for it.
32) Dark Victory – Sounds depressing
33) Camille – is this a real movie or just an Ernie Kovac’s joke?
34) Beauty and the Beast – just say no to Robbie Benson unless it’s in One on One. Better yet just say no to Robbie Benson.
36) Random Harvest – has anyone alive seen this movie? If you dig this movie you might be dead.
37) Titanic – I plan on getting laid again sometime in this lifetime so I have nothing bad to say about this movie.
38) It Happened One Night – Perfect except for the part where Cary Grant steals a car and no one seems to care.
39) An American in Paris – Everything is more romantic in Paris even the Nutty Professor
41) Funny Girl – Babs! ‘Nuff Said.
42) Anna Karenina
43) A Star is Born – I would watch this is it weren’t like 8 hours long and didn’t have like 60 different versions. At least it’s not the Barbra Streisand version.
44) The Philadelphia Story – Good movie, but I’m Jimmy Stewart and I don’t like losing to Cary Grant.
45) Sleepless in Seattle – Where is my son when I need him to be phoning radio stations?
46) To Catch a Thief – didn’t catch it.
47) Splendor in the Grass
48) Last Tango in Paris – The chick is hot but I’ve never had the courage to sit through big fat Marlon and his tub of Parkay.
49) The Postman Always Rings Twice
50) Shakespeare in Love – I dig it when he unwraps her, but how romantic is a movie where the guy is married to someone else and they don’t end up together in the end?
51) Bringing up Baby – Love Kate, Love Cary never made it through six minutes of this thing.
52) The Graduate – What a great movie. I screw your mom. I bring you to a strip joint on our first date. I ruin your wedding. I still get the girl. Points off for ambivalent ending shot.
53) A Place in the Sun – Take it from me this movie sucks even though Elizabeth Taylor is way hot. Shelley Winters may be the most annoying woman here in the history of celluloid.
54) Sabrina – I saw the Greg Kinnear version. What a loser I am.
55) Reds – Will watch it next time I have 18 hours to spare and can’t find a copy of Dr. Zhivago.
56) The English Patient – Not going there ever.
57) Two for the Road
58) Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner – Nice tearful love speech by Spencer saves it from being hopelessly outdated and embarrassing.
60) To Have and Have Not
61) Breakfast at Tiffany’s – loved that crazy chick, but please go save that damn cat from getting forever lost in the rain.
62) The Apartment – Shirley is cute but this is pretty dark stuff. If she actually understands it you are not going to get laid.
64) Marty – Is this really a movie or just a joke from Quiz Show?
65) Bonnie and Clyde – Great Movie but was I the only one who noticed that they never had sex and that they all got shot graphically in the end?
66) Manhattan – Ah what’s more romantic than Woody Allen and underage girls?
67) A Streetcar Named Desire – Saw the Simpson’s episode. Please no yelling of Stella under any circumstances.
68) What’s up Doc? – like butter – that’s been left outside to spoil for two weeks. My first laugh from adults ever came when I was like 8 at a tennis club. An old guy said Babs was so ugly he would make her sleep with her head on the other side of the bed and I said “I bet her feet would smell.”
69) Harold and Maude – Everyone digs it but I’ve always been too creeped out by that old chick and Cat Stevens to check it out.
70) Sense and Sensibility – Yawn. I like my Bronte sisters set in modern day like Clueless. I am so not into the meek girl who pines stoically unless it is for me.
71) Way Down East – If you say you’ve seen it you are lying.
72) Roxanne – Funny and Sweet but genius went to Steve Martin’s head.
73) The Ghost and Mrs. Muir – loved the TV show.
74) Woman of the Year – Fun but not much of a love story unless you dig seeing strong professional women humbled by the chores of being a housewife. How did Spencer Tracy get away with that shit?
75) The American President – Liberals if they had talented speech writers.
76) The Quiet Man – My buddy made me watch this once. It’s like fourteen hours long. Will John Wayne fight back? Will John Wayne fight back? Will John Wayne fight back? It ends with a good fight scene though.
77) The Awful Truth is that I’ve never seen it.
78) Coming Home – Vietnam vets in wheel chairs? – party on dude!
79) Jezebel – dated her but never saw it
80) The Sheik – No it’s not a condom ad. I’m guessing my funeral will not have thousands of weeping women at it like his did. Oh well.
81) The Goodbye Girl – Anyone ever notice how much Neil Simon sucks?
82) Witness – Sad ending but tons of chemistry as she shows him a breast and dances with him to Sam Cooke. Love it when he kicks that redneck with the ice cream cone’s ass.
83) Morocco –
84) Double Indemnity – who considered this romantic? Richard Nixon?
85) Love is a Many Splendored Thing – they just don’t come up with titles like that anymore do they?
86) Notorious – great stuff. Ingrid Bergman and Nazi’s is never a bad idea
87) The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Thank god I’m old enough to rent porn instead.
88) The Princess Bride – should be in the top ten
89) Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? – me.
90) The Bridges of Madison County – Take it from me Meryl Streep plus accent cancels out Clint Eastwood with a camera and not a gun.
91) Working Girl – Mind for Business. Bod for Sin. OK but I’ll never trade it for Something Wild in a million years.
92) Porgy and Bess – I saw this in High school music class. For some reason it’s unrentable these days. If you’re a romantic you think that Sidney Poitier wheels his no leg having self halfway across the country and finds Bess. If you’re not insane you realized that Eddie Murphy was pretty funny paying homage in Trading Places.
93) Dirty Dancing – I’m embarrassed but I love it. Why won’t Daddy trust Baby?
94) Body Heat – Seemed cool but I never made it all the way through it. Boy Kathleen Turner aged worse than any hot young woman ever.
95) Lady and the Tramp – Eating spaghetti with a chick is way hot!
96) Barefoot in the Park –
97) Grease – Why girls why?
98) The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Can’t we rent Wild Things again?
99) Pillow Talk – Doris Day and Rock Hudson only Pat Boone was ever further from real sex.
100) Jerry McGuire – I love this movie but I’m guessing Cameron Crowe picks Say Anything ever single time.
Top Five should have been there’s
1) Say Anything
2) True Romance
3) Mr. Deeds goes to Town
4) Pride of the Yankees
5) Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – I love that Jean Arthur in 3 and 5 and even You Can’t Take it With You too.