Another Tuesday and another Top 10 Show. This week’s list was a tough one to guess. I thought maybe we would go negative with worst spy films, or maybe we would do something connected to Christopher Robin, but instead, in honor of The Spy Who Dumped Me, the topic became Top 10 Break-Up Movies.
This was still a challenging list to compile as this type of film generally falls into a category that is not my favorite. I must say though that I really enjoy my current schedule with Tuesday off which allows me to watch some of the recommended films from John and Matt before I have to write my own list. I watched 3 films today from this genre and two of them have made the list. Unfortunately, I only have a few more weeks of this to enjoy as school will be restarting later in the month of August.
I ended up liking my list quite a bit as I had several on here that neither John or Matt included.
#10. Legally Blonde. The tenth spot continues to be that film that is a guilty pleasure and this week, the Reese Witherspoon vehicle, Legally Blonde lands here. Reese’s character Elle Woods breaks up with her boyfriend because he was going to attend Harvard and she wanted to prove to him that she was more than a beautiful blonde. The film was silly and quite a bit of fun with the fish-out-of-water trope.
#9. La La Land. This was the spot that I debated over. It was between this movie and about two other choices. I wound up choosing La La Land but truthfully, I could have swapped it out just as easily. I was never a giant fan of the musical, but I did enjoy the dancing and the music, in particular. The end of the movie was a gigantic risk and turned out wonderfully, playing off the characters’ development and struggles. It was a well done movie that wound up a bit overrated. Great performances from Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.
#8. Her. Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson are amazing in this film. Johansson is, arguably, never better despite never actually appearing on screen. The futuristic film was a strange one to watch, but, despite that, really covered the realm of human emotion and loneliness that we all have felt at some point in our lives. Wouldn’t we all have loved to have had a Samantha to talk to and share our lives with. Her was written, directed, and produced by Spike Jonze.
#7. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. This is a huge cult hit despite the fact that it was not much of a box office smash. Based on a graphic novel, Scott Pilgrim is played by Michael Cera who has to fight off the legion of ex-boyfriends of the woman of his dreams, played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead. One of the ex-boyfriends is played by the always epic Captain America, Christ Evans. The video game style movie ending was fun and creative too.
#6. Silver Linings Playbook. Bradley Cooper lost his wife after coming out of the psychiatric hospital where he was for his bipolar disorder and his life was crashing around him. A young woman, played by Jennifer Lawrence, agreed to help him try and re-win his wife. In exchange, she wanted him to join her in a dance contest. This does not sound like a film that I would have enjoyed that much, but I really did like it.
#5. Casablanca. One of the greatest movies of all time was another film that did not make it on the Top 10 list today, which is surprising. Maybe they did not consider it enough of a “break-up” movie because the break-up ends at the end of the movie. Although Rick Blaine and Ilsa Lund did have a previous relationship that ended in a split up. “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.”
#4. (500) Days of Summer. This is one of the three films I watched today for this list and I found this one remarkably charming and original. I really enjoyed the format of the film which was narratively different than any film that I had seen. Joseph Gordon-Levitt was great in this film where he was in love with Zooey Deschanel, though she specifically tells him she does not want a boyfriend. Again, it was not a film that I would not be quick to watch, but I was engaged the entire time.
#3. Mrs. Doubtfire. The Robin Williams smash hit featured the immediate break up of the parents Daniel and Miranda Hillard after Miranda (Sally Fields) just can’t take it any more. Because of the break -up, Daniel went to some extremes in order to spend time with his kids. Robin Williams is his typical frenetic self as he is dressed in old lady drag and using that quick wit to make each ridiculous situation extremely funny.
#2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotted Mind. Here is the second film to make this list that I watched today that I had never seen before. It was another one where the narrative was not just told int he same old manner and it was remarkably creative and original. Jim Carrey gives a really strong performance throughout, mixing mostly serious with a few farcical scenes. I love how some of these movies take the same basic idea and include some amazing creative ideas to provide us with a new viewing experience that is unlike anything we have seen. Along with Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kristin Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Woods and Tom Wilkinson are all fantastic in this movie. I am so glad I got a chance to see this.
#1. The War of the Roses. As I was researching these movies, War of the Roses popped up and I immediately said, “That’s number one!”. I loved this dark comedy with Michael Douglas and Kathryn Turner as a married couple who just cannot stand one another any more but who both want to keep the house that they built together. Instead of compromising, the Roses, try to pull every trick int he book which devolves into maniacal efforts against each other. Danny DeVito is awesome here as the lawyer who just wants to help this couple get away from one another. The War of the Roses really takes the break-up of a marriage to a new level of discourse and is unbelievably dark and funny.
Honorary Mentions: (The film I watched today, but did not make the top 10) Chasing Amy, Manchester by the Sea, Kramer vs. Kramer, The Room (Ha Ha).