The first time I saw "Airplane" it was projected on the wall of my family's villa in Italy. I was maybe nine years old and thought an inflatable autopilot, a guy who spilled drinks down his face and, well, feces hitting a fan was hi-larious. As I matured, I found new nuances to delight me in "Airplane" -- the teen me felt smug recognizing cameos from Barbara Billingsley, Kareem Abdul Jabar and a young Joe Izuzu (David Leisure). As an adult, I snicker at the subtle (and not so subtle) dialogue and I have finally come to appreciate Julie Hagerty. I've also been known to fast forward through the DVD to hear the lines from Stephen Stucker's Johnny ("I can make a hat or a brooch or a pterodactyl.")
"Airplane" is just one of the movies contained in a box I keep close at hand. The fact that this box didn't go into storage with the rest of my household belongings during our year-long house renovation is a testament to its importance. Inside this box are scenes and characters that have the perennial ability to mesmerize me. Rather than becoming stale, they seem to grow ever more precious with age. Each repeated viewing entertains me with the same joy I experienced on the first viewing. These are movies I can watch again and again -- often to the chagrin of Mr. Liz.
We all have a favorite movie, and usually, we want our favorite movie to make a statement about who we are -- politically, creatively, morally. We choose our favorite movie shrewdly, mindful of the message it sends to those who ask, usually hoping for a clue about what makes us tick.
Our guilty pleasure movies are not the movies we'd necessarily label a "favorite." They're not embarrassing so much as a little unremarkable. They are movies that, if you did identify them as a favorite, would draw blank stares. They may not make a statement or they may slap us in the face with one, they may contain corny humor or revel in pseudo-intellectuality, they may be dated in the worst way possible or contain special effects so hokey you can't help but grin at their moxie for trying. Often, we can't explain why it is we like these movies; we just do.
Today, we share those movies with each other. As usual, I'll go first:
Pride and Prejudice (all 300 minutes of the 1995 BBC miniseries)
Some Kind of Wonderful
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
The Fifth Element
I showed you mine. Show me yours in the comments section below...