But I do have two favorite movies. One of them is recent and the other has been my favorite since grad school.
We've rented Midnight in Paris several times. When the Redbox dvd froze the other night, Earl pointed out that we simply should have bought the movie. I love all the scenes of Paris. We play the "I've been there" game with Grace along, and I got to play it with my friend Ruth the other night too. She hadn't seen the movie. Doesn't like Woody Allen. Doesn't like Owen Wilson.
"Yeah, but that doesn't matter. You'll like this movie," I told her and I was right.
I also love figuring out who all the historical characters are. Of course, I recognized the Fitzgeralds and Hemingway and Gertrude Stein right away. Man Ray? Luis Bunuel? I didn't know about those surrealists or American writer Djuna Barnes.
I see something different every time I watch it.
And, of course, Wilson's fiance in the movie is so dismissive of his love for Paris and urge to finish his novel. I spend the movie trying to convince the screen that he should dump the fiance.
My long-term favorite movie is Room With a View. I find myself quoting this movie or thinking of scenes in this movie all the time. Just this morning I said, "I can't go running at you now, can I?" quoting the Helena Bonham Carter character as she encourages her fiance, Daniel Day Lewis to give her a first passionate kiss. I think of our French friend Maguerite as the proper maiden aunt Charlotte Bartlett and wrote in my memoir how the family dreaded her visit at the vacation house in Corsica, just as they dreaded having "Poor Charlotte." The movie is so witty and clever, plus it has the first full-frontal male nudity I ever saw in a movie when the men are skinny-dipping in a pool and Helena Bonham Carter, her mother and fiance are walking past. Another hilarious scene. And I frequently find myself wanting to call out "Truth, Beauty..." the motto of the young George Sands character, who yells this from a tree, before the branch breaks and he takes a tumble to the Tuscan countryside. Tourists are mocked. Romances are mocked. The idea of raising children in the countryside to maintain their innocence before sending them on a world tour to finish them, seems like what we might have done with Grace. See how I've embraced this movie.
How about you? Do you have a favorite movie? Why is it your favorite?