NOTE: This was originally posted in April 2008. Now I have an update...
This weekend Mr. Fraulein and I were talking about movies and old TV shows that hold up well on repeated viewings. Some movies you see in the theater and think, well, that was OK but I don't need to ever see it again. Others, you know you just have to have for your own collection. There's something so comforting about relaxing in front of a movie or show you already know will make you howl with laughter, think about Important Issues, or both! So here is my list of movies and a TV episode I can happily watch a million times:
1. Office Space. Have you ever had a job that, as somebody in a Dilbert cartoon once said, made you "long for the sweet release of death"? The kind of job where, if you were offered the choice between working for those people again or being waterboarded by Dick Cheney, you'd take your chances with the waterboarding? If so, like me, you will never get tired of this movie.
2. Galaxy Quest. If there is anything funnier than Alan Rickman's pained facial expression pretty much every moment he's on screen, I'd like to see it. An absolute classic.
3. Monsters Inc. When Sully thinks he'll never see Boo again, it makes me cry every time. Cute, funny, and creative.
4. His Girl Friday. I first saw this movie in Journalism 101 my freshman year at Boston University, and thus a newspaper career was born. The scene where Hildy chases down her interview subject (across a couple of lanes of traffic) and then tackles him (while wearing 1940s-era heels) still gives me the chills. Just awesome.
5. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. If you were in high school in the 80s, you have to love this one. It perfectly captures the joy of skipping out of school.
6. Stranger than Fiction. Turns out Will Ferrell can act. I completely adore the idea behind the plot of this one: a guy hearing a disembodied voice narrating his every move. This movie is underappreciated and sheer genius.
7. Orlando. My favorite Virginia Woolf novel can't have been a picnic to adapt for the big screen. With this one they did what I assumed was impossible: bringing the humor and humanity of one of literature's most fascinating characters vividly to life on screen. Tilda Swinton comes close to my exact vision of this character, with the exception of her red hair (Orlando is very explicitly a brunette in the novel).
8. Ratatouille. We rented this for the Peanut without realizing it's really a Big People Movie, although little people can appreciate it too. Not just one of my favorite animated movies -- one of my favorite movies period. Hilarious and moving at the same time.
9. Cars. How do the animators get the cars to look like they have emotions? Just brilliant.
10. The Office, Season Two: the "Office Olympics"episode: Can't find a link to this particular one. It's the episode where Michael buys his condo and while he and Dwight are out at the closing, Jim and Pam organize the Dunder Mifflin Olympics, featuring such events as races around the building with full cups of coffee. Oh, and "Flonkerton." I have seen this over and over on DVD and it still makes me laugh almost to the point of losing bladder control. Rainn Wilson outdoes himself in this one, which is saying something since he's always hilarious.
11. (2009 update) Tropic Thunder, baby. All hail the mighty Downey, who can literally do no wrong: "I'm head-to-toe legitimate."