What’s Playing

Movies to Check out for Valentine’s Day… or whenever you’re Bored

film

On a cold night, snuggle under the covers and enjoy. And, you could even watch a movie too!

Insomnia has been labelled as a negative.  However, it has introduced me to some films I would’ve otherwise never seen.  Sure, some have had me shaking my head with frustration screaming “I’ll Never Get these Two Hours Back!”    Yet others made me feel half-way justified for denying much-needed rest.

Now this is not your average list filled with classics we all know and love like Gone with the Wind, any Jane Austen-inspired film, the over-rated Titantic, the  3 romantic comedies starring  Doris Day and Rock Hudson and the weepy An Affair to Remember, along with its remakes including the lazily written Sleepless in Seattle.
No, this litany of films is a bit different.

Placed in no particular order, here is the sampling:

In the Romantic-Comedy Category:

1.  The Decoy Bride   After the regeneration of Dr. Who,  David Tennant went on to star in this little gem alongside Kelly MacDonald and Alice Eve.

actor David Tennant

The charming David Tennant

Tennant plays a writer joining his actress fiancée (Alice Eve) to a remote Scottish location which is featured in his latest book.  Surprisingly the writer knows very little about the place which the locals are only too “helpful” to point out.  Nevertheless, this is where the bride wants to finally tie the knot.  In order to hide from the paparazzi, village resident Kelly MacDonald  is hired as a decoy.  Comedy ensues.

2. Jane Eyre   Keeping with a Dr. Who theme, this movie/BBC mini-series starring “Lord President” Timothy Dalton is one to watch.

Actor Timothy Dalton posing as 007 James Bond

Timothy Dalton as Bond, James Bond.

Maybe I’m a sucker for James Bond but Dalton’s portrayal of Mr. Rochester made this remake one of my favorites.  He is proud man yet shows signs of vulnerability.  Great work.

3. The MatchMaker is a delightful film starring Janeane Garofalo. In this film the cynical Garofalo shows a softer side with wonderful results.

Buddy Movies:

1.  Hot Fuzz  The trio that brought you Shaun of the Dead and Spaced with Jessica Hynes  reunite for this action-packed comedy.  Simon PeggNick Frost and Edgar Wright  give you plenty of action, humor and heart in this love story to Hollywood “cop movies.”  Timothy Dalton is delicious as one of the suspects.

2.  Muriel’s Wedding  Before she was a movie mom or the United States of TaraToni Collette played the ABBA loving wedding-obsessed girl.  Regardless of what she does, you are rooting for her.

A Different Kind of Love:

3. Children of the Revolution  This is a comedy about a woman in love with Stalin (yep, Joseph Stalin).  Really, it is a comedy… starring Judy Davis and Sam Neill, who worked together previously in the much lauded film, My Brilliant Career.  Actress Rachel Griffiths, who is featured in Muriel’s Wedding, co-stars.

Queeny the Vampire in the movie Suck

Queeny and the Mad Hatter: Coincidence?

4. Suck   Forget the Twilight series.  Writer/Director/Actor Rob Stefaniuk offers us a vampire love story starring Jessica Paré and Queeny the vampire. It’s more about the lust of a band wanting to make it big in the music business with a bit of blood mixed in.  It’s a bit quirky and becomes more entertaining (and gory) as it moves along.

Plus, this film makes one wonder… did Johnny Depp borrow Quenny’s look for his Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter? Who is this Rob Stafaniuck guy and how does he know all this people?
Who knows?  Who cares?  It’s just fun to count the various celeb cameos… and see poor Hugo suffer his plight as a modern-day Renfield.

5. The Royal Tenenbaums   This Wes Anderson directed movie features a quirky family which produced three child prodigies.  The children, now adults, come back home as a result of tragic news.  As in Anderson’s films, relationships are the heart of the matter.

Is this your Glass Slipper?

6. Dogfight   Set in 1963, a young man (River Phoenix) and his buddies are celebrating their last night in the States before being shipped off to fight in Vietnam.  The viewers join Phoenix from the moment he meets the Lili Taylor character, a “girl with a great personality” until he ships off.  Stay with this one.  It is well worth it.

Rachel Griffiths and Toni Collette from the movie Muriel's Wedding

Rachel Griffiths and Toni Collette star in Muriel’s Wedding.

7. Mirror Has Two Faces  Babs does it again.  In her Oscar winning performance as the real-life comedienne/Ziegfeld Follies girl Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, Ms. Streisand, as with Brice, got the guy with her charms and “nontraditional” good looks.
But in the end Fanny Brice dumped her gambling husband so maybe getting the guy wasn’t so great after all?

Real life is nothing like the movies.

To get a more varied and professional view, read the entertaining and educational book 10 Bad Dates with DeNiro, a book of Alternative Movie Lists, edited by Richard T. Kelly with illustrations by Andrew Rae. 

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