For the longest time, I told people my favorite movie was The Wizard of Oz. It’s a great movie, entertaining, and it just seems like a movie that is acceptable to be someone’s favorite. I had my top 3 movies ready at all times to share because I decided when I was twenty-one what they were (The Wizard of Oz, The Philadelphia Story, and Moulin Rouge!, btw.) Then a funny thing happened, I would tell people what my favorite movie was, or trot out my list, and it would occur to me that I hadn’t seen any of them in years.
If you have a favorite pizza, you order it the most; a favorite sweater, you wear it out until it gets dangerously threadbare; a favorite drink, it’s your go-to when you’re at the bar. Shouldn’t your favorite movie be the same?
A “Favorite Movie” is a film that tells people what you want them to know about you. It’s a curated selection, meant to convey something about yourself that will allow people to get you…but is that really your true favorite movie?
Your true favorite movies should be the ones you consistently watch the most. Sure, you may have loved 2001: A Space Odyssey, but is that really the one you put on when you’re hungover on the couch at 2 pm, and just want something to watch yet simultaneously nap to at the same time?
The movies we watch over and over again aren’t usually noteworthy, and while they do say a lot about us, it may not be particularly what we want to convey. This is all a large preamble leading up to this: When I took stock of the movies I watched the most, three titles stood out. I’ve watched each one at least 2-3 times per year for the last decade. Unsurprisingly, none of my “Favorites” from above stayed in their position.
Friends, the movies I watch the most, and thus have to accept are my true favorites, are:
A real classic. I am not ashamed to admit to you that in 2008 I worked at a bar/restaurant, and the sound was out on our TVs when it came on…ok, I definitely put it on. Some patrons complained because they wanted to watch, so I successfully relayed every single word, down to the inflection, for the entire movie (wine was involved). For the rest of the time I worked there, patrons would bring it up with equal parts wonder and confusion: why Con Air? I can’t explain my love for this very dumb movie, but it runs deep.
Adventures in Babysitting
To me, this is hands down the greatest intro/credits scene ever. I’ve watched this movie at least twice a year since it was released in 1987. An underrated teen classic that doesn’t get a lot of love, partially because it doesn’t hold up super well in a 2018 societal light. It does, however, have a very young George Newbern, my first celebrity crush; and Elizabeth Shue, who I will forever wish was my babysitter growing up and whose hair in this movie I still covet.
This one is pure sunshine, with a healthy serving of peak Harrison Ford thrown in for good measure. Any time something good happens to a lady friend, I think of Joan Cusack when she shouts to everyone around her “Oh my god, she made it!” because Melanie Griffith’s character finally got a break. This movie is perfect.
None of these movies are particularly noteworthy. They don’t frequently make the “best of” lists. All I can tell you is that watching any of those three is the cinematic equivalent of hanging out in my pjs on the couch, eating cold pizza, and feeling completely content (to be fair, that’s usually how I watch them, too). Isn’t that what a true favorite movie should feel like?
Now, to quote Adventures in Babysitting, “Nobody leaves here without singing the blues.” I’ve shown you mine, now show me yours.
Share the top three movies you watch the most, and just for kicks, the three movies you tell people are your favorites.
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