Courtesy of Karsten Knight and Stacey of Page Turners Blog I've been inspired to post about films that supplied priceless pop culture knowledge that I internalized as eternal. I think it's perfectly reasonable that each generation assumes its points of pop culture reference will forever be relevant, but as Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "Each generation must write its own books, or rather each generation for the next succeeding."
There are certain pieces of culture that I refuse to believe will lose their relevance. For example, I will go to my grave proclaiming that everyone should know Buffy the Vampire Slayer and relish her (and Joss Whedon's) contributions to our sorry world.
I'm forced to admit, however, that some of my cherished films will languish in history. To forestall this decline I'm going to do a series of posts about films that left indelible marks on my psyche and creative life.
Because this endeavor was inspired by Karsten's reference to She's All That. I'm starting with RomComs and the movie in question.
My brother and I used to watch She's All That constantly. It's a great mood lifter - funny and sweet. And has one of the best choreographed prom dances ever - Fat Boy Slim FTW! (And yes, that IS Usher)
Ten Things I Hate About You is another priceless romance. A retelling of Taming of the Shrew it features clever dialogue and young Heath Ledger (RIP) opposite Julia Stiles. Bonus: Proof that Joseph Gordon Levitt was awesome before Inception.
Another adapted tale is Clueless with Alicia Silverstone as Jane Austen's Emma. This film is hilarious! Clueless is the 90s prep to counter Ten Things 90s grunge - both of which were essential 90s trends.Taking few more steps back in time to 1980s, I'd be remiss to leave off a John Hughes film. I think they are all worth watching, but I have a soft spot for Sixteen Candles. In terms of feminism this film has some really messed up ideologies, but given that it's John Hughes my presumption is that such hyperbole of sexual and racial stereotypes are written with both irony and purpose (or I'm just naive). The kiss over the candles with Thompson Twins singing in the background is an alltime favorite scene.
Sixteen Candles also has young John Cusack, but of course Cusack's famous 80s movie moment featuring a window and a boombox and Peter Gabriel happens in Say Anything.
Also of the 80s - Girls Just Want to Have Fun. SJP and Helen Hunt in the 80s! Best slumber party movie ever. I went through about four birthdays where this was the featured film.
Girls Just Want to Have Fun is about a forbidden dance contest, but it's very PG in content. So of course I have to mention the more risque forbidden dance film: Dirty Dancing.
No one puts Baby in the corner!
Jumping back into the 90s - some might not consider Mallrats a romantic comedy, but I do. And I adore it! Shannon Doherty and Magic Eye make this film indispensable. Plus - filmed in Minnesota, home of the first enclosed shopping mall in the country.
Another 90s film that I consider priceless is Beautiful Girls. Though this movie focuses on a high school reunion of late 20 somethings, its message is relevant for young adults and adults.
In the last year of the 90s But I'm a Cheerleader made a wonderful and important contribution to rom coms. This film is poignant and hilarious. And has RuPaul in an amazing role!
I could probably go on, but I'm happy with this list. What do you consider defining romantic comedies for your generation or simply for you?
Coming soon: Children's films, Fantasy/Sci-Fi, and Horror!