I watch a fair amount of movies. I do my best to make it to the theatre when I can, if there’s something I am truly interested in seeing, but for the most part I watch more movies at home than elsewhere. I have accumulated a pretty decent collection of films on DVD (fuck Blu-ray) and while it’s gotten considerably smaller the past few years there are a large portion of DVDs I will NEVER part with. Most of them are simply my favorite movies, and therefore I always want the option to watch them at anytime I may feel in the mood.
However, there are a LARGE amount of films I love that I just cannot watch that often. Either due to the crippling emotional toll it may take on me (I’m looking at you, Requiem for a Dream) or the length of the film, or the personal decision to only watch them once every year at most. That said, there are some movies I can watch anytime, and some that I’ve been known to watch at least once a month. I’ve selected my top ten favorites, and encourage you to comment with some of your favorites as well.
10. I Love You, Man
From 2009, this will be the most recent entry on this list but it’s quickly been added to the ‘watch anytime’ repertoire. I think both Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are two of the funniest actors working right now, and putting them together in this pairing really pays off. Honestly, the movie would be awful if not for their banter and chemistry (the secondary characters are all pretty weak, actually). But it’s worth the watch just to see Rudd make ridiculous made-up ‘broisms’ (I hate myself for writing that) while talking to Segel’s character and the subsequent reaction to that. It’s been two years since release but I must have watched it 6-7 times already.
9. The Shawshank Redemption
Most ‘watch anytime’ films are invariably going to be comedies or animated films, due to the nature of them being more accessible and enjoyable to watch anytime. But ask just about anyone you know who has seen Darabont’s 1994 masterpiece The Shawshank Redemption if they want to watch it and you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who’ll say no. It is without a doubt one of the greatest films ever made, and one of few films I will literally force you to watch if you foolishly reveal to me you’ve never seen it. I feel it is my duty. It’s one of the few films where I would say ‘length be damned’ and watch it anytime.
8. Spider-Man 2
Hi, I’m Alan. Not sure if we’ve met. I love Spider-Man. Nothing compares to the second film which is one of the greatest superhero films ever made, and I could arguably watch the first film anytime as well, I figure I’d not clutter this list with Spider-Man related things and just choose one. And if given the choice, I’d watch the second one always. Less stilted/corny dialogue, and no power-rangers villain. Also you find out along with all of New York that (Spoiler Alert!) Peter Parker IS Spider-Man! Woah. Wow. Huh.
When you get to know someone you start to learn little quirks about them that can sometimes be annoying, sometimes endearing, or sometimes just one of those ‘huh.’ moments. When people get to know me, one thing that they will sooner rather than later find out is just how much I love the Disney movie Aladdin. It’s a lot to do with nostalgia, I admit, but I really don’t care. It is the first movie I remember seeing in theatres, with my parents and siblings, and I immediately related to Aladdin (which in retrospect I think was mostly because our names were slightly similar and the Genie called him ‘Al,’ because I am not a street rat nor did I become a prince to win a princess and also I don’t have a pet monkey yet). I can, if given enough time and concentration, retell the entire film word-for-word and a lot of the sound effects. So, there’s that. Endearing?
6. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Okay, without trying to turn this into nostalgia hour or anything, this is another film I grew up with and helped shape who I am today (as well as the turtles in general). Anyone who can make a reference to this film specifically (and to a lesser extent, the second film) will immediately garner themselves a spot in my good books. Seriously. It’s very 80’s (even though it was made in 1990) but that just adds to the charm, and makes me feel like a kid again. Also, little known fact that Sam Rockwell is in it. Yep. Now you want to watch it again, don’t you ladies.
5. Die Hard
For my money this is and always will be the greatest action movie of all time. People like to be all cute and say ‘It’s the best Christmas movie of all time!!!’ but just shut up. It takes place during Christmas but it is not a Christmas movie. It’s an action movie. And it’s awesome. Alan Rickman’s awful German accent just adds to the charm. It’s great because it’s just a ‘wrong place at the wrong time’ situation for McClane, and he has to improvise and be resourceful to beat the bad guys. More action movies should follow that formula, because as soon as you get a super-powered being vs. more super-powered beings it becomes less relatable.
4. High Fidelity
This movie on this list has a lot to do with Jack Black. More accurately, the character Jack Black plays in this movie, Barry. I worked at a music store for a while and I empathized with some of the actions he took with the customers (although employees like that could never last at the store I was at) but overall he was just so fucking funny to watch. There are other things about this movie that bring me back often as well, including the whole list-making convention (I think it’s fairly clear I like making lists myself) and the hopeless romantic of Rob that I could definitely relate to. Overall it’s just a well-structured film I can go back to again and again.
3. The Big Lebowski
I was struggling with this one, as there are a couple Coen Films that I could definitely watch anytime, but between this one and Fargo, The Dude sneaks by just by a hair. It’s got a multitude of quotables, and a great supporting cast who make memorable characters out of just a few scenes. I think of this movie anytime I go bowling, and have felt like the Dude more often than I’d like to admit. At the very least, it’s a movie I could watch over and over just to get a glimpse of Sam Elliott’s glorious mustache.
2. Wayne’s World
Come on! Who doesn’t love Wayne’s World? I literally watched this movie every DAY for a few weeks during high school. My friend and I would go to his house after school and watch Wayne’s World while eating cookies/brownies/cinnamon buns/whatever his mom made that day. It was the best. And during school we’d quote it to each other all the time. At that time I didn’t even realize it was one of the cursed ‘SNL adaptations’ but I would wager that this show was one of the few times they got it right.
1. Jurassic Park
This film along with Shawshank is something I will HOLD YOU DOWN AND FORCE YOU TO WATCH ALEX DELARGE if you tell me you haven’t seen it. Okay so I’m a huge mark for Dinosaurs because they are awesome duh, but the movie itself is well-executed on so many levels that if anyone hates Spielberg this is my trump card for why he is awesome. No one can argue otherwise. They can but they’ll lose.
Honorable Mention: Home Alone
My go-to Christmas movie. I watch it every Christmas. It’s actually a trifecta of this one, Muppet Christmas Carol and It’s a Wonderful Life but if I could only pick one it’s going to be the one about a child trying to murder burglars. I love it.