As a couple, my husband and I work hard to reserve two nights of the week: Friday for Family Movie Night and Saturday for Date Night. We’re not always successful, sadly, but we make it happen often enough that when it doesn’t happen we’re bummed about it. Family Movie Night is a bit of a misnomer–since the little ones all go to bed fairly early, it’s really just us and our oldest. I like that, though, and she loves having us all to herself. Plus, she can watch PG-13 movies, so we’re not stuck with all Disney, all the time. Saturday nights my husband and I are, more often than not, completely whacked with fatigue. Four kids, two businesses, housekeeping, trying (vainly) to sell our house, plus making at lease some effort to stay a connected married couple–it takes a lot out of you. So frequently we head to the family room on Date Night and have our own movie night–and we get to watch movies all the way up to R! Woot!
The movies below are ones that I have a tendency to watch ALONE, though. Ones that I love so much that I can watch them, finish them, and go right back to the menu to click “play” all over again. At least three of these I have done that very thing, and one of them I once watched three times in a row while working on a late-night/all-night sewing project. These are movies that, if they’re on television, I will watch no matter what section of the film is on when I join the party. Are you smellin’ what I’m steppin’ in?
I’m sure my parenting-addled brain has forgotten some miraculous work of art of which you will remind me in the comments. So, this is not by any means an exhaustive list. It’s more of an ad hoc, stream of consciousness, first ones that came to mind list. In no particular order, six (or so) of the movies I could watch end-to-end, over and over again:
Galaxy Quest I don’t even really know where to start with how much I love this movie. If you’ve ever seen a single episode of Star Trek (any of them, but classic, especially), you’ll get every joke and nuance of this sci-fi spoof. The characters are awesome, the cast is unusually stellar for a movie that didn’t seem to get much push at the box office, and the jokes are wonderfully subtle and clever. Plus: the PG rating means you can watch it with your kids! Love, love, love.
Sense and Sensibility This is the Ang Lee/Emma Thompson version, and it is glorious and gorgeous and beautifully written and flawlessly acted and has such wonderful music and scenery and costumes. Oh, the costumes! I covet the aprons, for heaven’s sake. Pretty, pretty, and touches on all our fears and hopes for love in all its forms.
Stranger Than Fiction From the very first few minutes of this movie (in the clip below), I was entranced. I didn’t expect to love Will Farrell in a serious role, but his character is spotlessly performed. With Emma Thompson as the writer and Maggie Gyllenhall as the love interest, it’s fabulously balanced and the entire film is practically perfect. Oh, and did I mention Latifah? Yes, I did.
The Thomas Crown Affair The 1999 remake with Peirce Brosnan. He’s deliciously manly, yet flawed. Beautifully shot, exceptionally acted. Amazing clothes–rich people, you know.
Overboard I know what you’re thinking, but if I’m being honest, I could totally watch this movie over and over again. I think it’s hysterically funny, I adore Goldie Hawn in this role, and I love the whole story. It’s light and silly, but you can come in at any point in this film and enjoy it just as much. A great movie with tween and teen girls, I should point out.
A Few Good Men I can handle the truth. I have been jonesing to see this movie for months, and neither I nor my husband can quite figure out why we don’t own a copy. What?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind This movie is so amazing, in so many ways. Cleverly written, fascinating concept, exceptional cast–all of them, not just Kate Winslet and Jim Carrey (of all people), beautifully shot. But it’s bittersweet and always makes me cry, so I can’t really watch it over and over–I’m a little bit of a wreck at the end. And so, not technically on the list. But I do adore it so!
Harry Potter (any of them) What’s not to like about Harry Potter and the wizarding world? Problem with the movies is: I don’t want to pick up in the middle, I want to start at the beginning and watch all the way through, and if I DO pick up in the middle, I keep wondering, “Did they ______ yet? Or does that come later?” So: not on the official list. But so much fun to watch!
Back to the Future and Top Gun Both of these have, like, no flaws. Totally. I love, love, love them, and they have become a part of me. I could watch them a zillion times, and have–which is maybe why they don’t make the list. I’ve seen them over and over, and now a single viewing has me set for a year or two. So: awesome faves, but not on the list. Love ’em, though–I’d be betraying my generation if I felt otherwise!