Saturday, September 20, 2008


A couple of days ago over at kottke, there was a discussion about which movies you've watched the most. I find this conversation interesting and disturbing. Of course part of what determines the list is the time and place one grew up, but it also must say something about a person's needs. At the Onion AV Club, where the discussion started, one poster says

But in an uncomfortably psychologically revealing way, my immersion in [Ghostbuster's] many quotable lines crossed the borderline separating casual reference and obsessive incantation long ago: It's probably no coincidence that the peak of my Ghostbusters viewing (at least once a week) came just after my parents' divorce, when I was consoled during rocky nights by my friends Venkman, Ray, and Egon.

As a child, I rented Annie every time we went to the movie store for about six months. It must have driven my parents crazy. On my adult list The Princess Bride and As Good As It Gets are far and away the leaders, followed closely by Dirty Dancing. I can literally quote The Princess Bride from beginning to end; I can't even begin to estimate the number of times I've seen it. The beginning of the obsessive viewing also coincided with my parents' divorce, and I suspect that the true love theme was appealing to my adolescent self. Same story with Dirty Dancing, except add sex.

I can't yet explain As Good As It Gets. There is love, but it's a dysfunctional, confusing, difficult love, and ditto characters. Maybe it appeals to a definitely more cynical view of the world, but retaining the happy ending that I really do want to believe in.

After those, the list would include the PBS mini-series Anne of Green Gables, The Breakfast Club, and Terminator 2. I don't really like repeated movie viewings these days, but maybe it counts that I'm watching The Sopranos series for a second time.

What are yours?

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