Tuesday 10 September 2013

Films I'm not embarrassed to love

Everyone loves the hot librarian look, especially dwarfs.

I recently admitted to being a huge fan of scary movies and did a shout out to my all-time top five (see the list here). But I also love films of all genres (well, almost any genre - snuff films are out for obvious reasons). And even if a movie is pretty bad, I can usually find something I like about it - could be an actor's performance, the musical score, the story concept, or even just one really good line. It might be a blockbuster, foreign flick, documentary or a small indie, but as long as it throws a little cinema magic my way in some shape or form, then that's what really matters. Because movies are awesome and I love giving them all a chance to win over my eyeballs and steal my heart.

When you look at cinema this way and ignore critic reviews, opinions from friends and sometimes even common sense; you find that some of the movies you really love are in fact ones a lot of people either hate, have never heard of, or (the real biggie), would be embarrassed to admit they like. I realised the other day that a stack of my favourites fall into this category. Of course there are also plenty of films which are universally deemed amazing (or just not considered lame) which I love as well, but extra fondness lingers for those gems I should probably be embarrassed to watch yet enjoy viewing over and over again with no shame whatsoever.

And I know I'm not alone, everyone has at least a few films they dig which are like this. If you're not exactly sure what I'm on about, think of a title and if it ticks at least one of these boxes then you're in business:
  • You know it's a really bad movie but you just can't help loving it
  • Critics and moviegoers have openly slammed the movie
  • You've never told anyone you secretly like the movie
  • You don't know anyone else that has seen it, but you've watched it at least 30 times and can quote every line
  • There's an audience stereotype for this movie which isn't that cool to be associated with
Life is too short to only watch movies praised by the masses. So in the spirit of encouraging others to open up I'll be the first to come clean with some of my top picks I'm not embarrassed to admit I love*.

1. Foul Play (1978)
There's so much to say about this movie I'm almost lost for words. A shy yet sexy librarian goes on her first date in eons only to have him cark it in the movie theatre and now she's the next murder target - sounds simple enough, but did I mention albinos, dwarfs and the Pope were in the picture? It's also got snakes, car chases, Dudley Moore with his pants down, and Barry Manilow music (the title track was actually nominated for an Oscar believe it or not). Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase head up the cast of comedy gold, with other swell actors like Brian Dennehy and that old dude who played Rocky's trainer thrown in for good measure.  It's a thriller, it's a comedy, it's action packed and it's even got some romance. There is so much to love about this flick I seriously don't know why it's not more popular. If you've never seen it, go and hire it immediately. 

2. Can't stop the music (1980)
Ah, the story about how the most famous gay boy band The Village People formed. I don't care what anyone says, their music is a whole lotta fun and because it's been captured on the screen I get to experience what it would have been like to rule the disco dance floor at the time to their crazy tunes. And even if you're not into the songs, there are so many nuggets of joy to be found such as the outrageous outfits (lawyer wearing denim cut-off shorts and midriff t-shirt anyone?) They were right, you can't stop the music. At least in my house anyway. 

3. Grease 2 (1982)
Another musical? Yep I love 'em. Sure the original was great, but what about the sequel? Smoking hot Michelle Pfeiffer singing her heart out and wearing leather! Alright, the lead guy was pretty lame but so what? Deliberately cheesy and far less serious than Grease, you just can't help love the stupid characters and even worse songs. Grease 2 is the word. 

4. Clue (1985)
Based on the board game Cluedo, this movie has been referenced a lot (most recently when Battleship came out). Yet no one ever talks about it in a good light and I have no idea why. The humour is, for me, unparallelled by any other film. It's out there all alone in it's hysterical quirkiness which gets wittier with every viewing and is largely due to the fantastic cast. Actors like Tim Curry, Madeleine Kahn, Christopher Lloyd and Michael McKean look they're having so much fun and you can't help but get swept into the silliness of it all. 

5. Club Paradise (1986)
Robin Williams, Twiggy, Peter O'Toole and Jimmy Cliff - on a tropical island? Hells yeah! Cheeseball central yet some seriously funny stuff if you give it half a chance. Rick Moranis and Eugene Levy are particular standouts as the typical nerds looking to score. If I ever meet Robin Williams I'm telling him how much I love this film - I might possibly be the only one to ever say so. 

6. Hudson Hawk (1991)   
Bruce Willis - with hair! The ex-con forced back on the job to steal Da Vinci masterpieces for some crackpots (in the form of an excellent Richard E. Grant and Sandra Bernhard), so they can turn metal into gold - all while getting jiggy with a hot nun. Huzzah! It's zany, it's stupid, but if you think of it like a fun cartoon it doesn't matter one little bit. 

7. Bigger than Tina (1999)
Why this Aussie treasure came and went as quickly as a silent, odourless fart is beyond comprehension. A brilliant mockumentary about Dan Vardy-Cobb - a fictional wannabe singer who idolises Tina Arena and finally gets his big break - is darkly funny without resorting to obvious gags, and was way ahead of it's time. It's in the same vein of mockos like Waiting for Guffman and Best in Show yet features unknown actors and subtle Aussie humour, so it constantly makes you wonder if it's in fact a real documentary. Dig it up and piss yourself. 

8. The Notebook (2004)
Forget the hype, forget the Gosling - this was flat out the most romantic movie I've ever seen and I don't care who knows it. I know it's terribly stereotypical of me, as a female, to love this movie (because it's of course common knowledge that all chicks love romance flicks that make us go through more tissues than a teenage boy right?), but seriously - this was a beautiful movie. Say what you want, but if you didn't cry in this you are not human.

What  films are you not embarrassed to love?

* My movies picks are a mere sample of some of those on my 'should be embarrassed but love them anyway' list. There were so many more films I could have added (like 20 more musicals for starters), but it was starting to get a little crazy. It was also tempting to add a bunch of kids' movies, but most of them are not deemed embarrassing to love because they're actually good (e.g. Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), so that's why they didn't get a look in this time. 

photo credit: numberstumper via photopin cc


  1. Nice post! I actually have never seen any of these movies. Well I have seen half of the notebook lol. My 'Not embarassed to love' movies would be comedies like 'Kindergarden Cop', 'The Three Amegos' and 'Coming to America'

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    1. Thanks! I also love The Three Amigos it's awesome. In fact I haven't seen it in a while so you've reminded me to drag it out - cheers! So many funny lines. My Little Buttercup rendition often gets a work out at my place. And Coming to America - an Eddie classic. Definitely not embarassed to love that one though!


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