80 most favorite films (#65-61)

See also: #80-76; 75- 71; 70-66.

65. MEAN GIRLS (2004)

“Watch your back.”

Director: Mark Waters

Starring: Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Amanda Seyfried, Lacey Chabert, Tinay Fey, Jonathan Bennett

Plotline: Africa-born Cady Heron thinks she knows the survival of the fittest, especially when she joins the Plastics, the alpha girl group at her new high school led by Regina. When Cady finds out about Regina’s plans to just walk all over her, she decides to turn the entire school against Regina and throw her off the mighty throne. Cady soon discovers that she herself has become a mean girl.

Quotable quote: So fetch!

The success of this film is credited much to the witty and outrageously funny script written by Tina Fey who has proven her genius as Saturday Night Live’s former head writer and creator of the acclaimed tv series, 30 Rock. Marketed as a mainstream teenage flick, this is actually a satire worth a commendation. I the film’s statements about teenage status quo as it alludes more to what happens in the real adult world where the demigods devour their prey, willing or unwilling.

Fey in an interview says “Adults find it funny. They are the ones who are laughing. Young girls watch it like a reality television show. It is much too close to their real experiences so they are not exactly guffawing.” She said the original draft was partially a homage to the 80s teen sex comedies and that the female leads would have nude scenes.

If that pursued, it wouldn’t have been much effective as the final film’s brilliant dark humor.

Favorite scene: In the end of the film, Cady narrates about an emerging group of freshmen Mean Girls and imagines they’re being hit by a truck, a wishful thinking that really happened to her nemesis and former queen bee, Regina George.

64. LOVE ACTUALLY (2003)

“Love actually is all around.”

Director: Richard Curtis

Theme song: Jump – Girls Aloud

Starring: Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson

Plotline: Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely and interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

Oh, yeah. So it’s actually around. Unrequited love, sexual ‘love’, unconditional love, filial love. It’s everything about the big L and some, about a naked has-been popstar. I like the film’s fluid storytelling, usual British humor and its statement against the US President. I just fell for the porn stars’ love story. So cute. And it’s a worthy film to watch over and over because of Colin Firth. And Colin Firth is so cute and yummy and adorable and eye-popping, saliva-flowing and very.. Colin Firth.

Favorite scene: Colin Firth scenes.

63. THE FULL MONTY (1997)

“Six men. With nothing to lose. Who dare to go….”

Director: Peter Cattaneo

Starring: Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, William Snape, Steve Huison, Tom Wilkinson, Paul Barber
Plotline: Six unemployed steel workers, inspired by the Chippendale’s dancers, form a male striptease act. The women cheer them on to go for “the full monty” – total nudity.

I vividly remember Robert Carlyle as the gay lover of Father Greg in ‘The Priest’ and I liked him after watching that film. Robert’s character here as the loser who can’t even give a child support is enigmatic and sexy. The film is about middle-aged men who are dealing with issues of self-esteem cleverly connected with their economic devaluation, oh well, at least generally. It’s like, getting full monty or stripping all the way is giving the everything of your nothingness. Had this been a Filipino film, this would have sucked, I’m sure. Thanks to dry British humor, everything in Full Monty is clever. And sexy.

Favorite scene: The striptease in the ending!

62. THE TRUMAN SHOW (1998)

“The story of a lifetime…”

Director: Peter Weir

Starring: Jim Carrey, Laura Linney, Ed Harris

Plotline: An insurance salesman/adjuster (Jim Carrey) discovers his entire life is actually a TV show.

This actually reminds me of ‘Big Brother’ and all its shit. It’s a statement about media’s tendency to play god and how we are being manipulated by them because of our natural obsession to see how other peoples’ lives are chronicled on television. As audiences, as depicted in the film, we love seeing other people’s privacies exposed on air because we see slices of them as our own. It is actually an overview of existentialism, man being the creator of his own meaning and essence as a person. Though, the portrayal of man being ‘god of himself’ in the film is ironic to existentialism because the concept itself is still patterned after a ‘divine creator’, named Christof in the film. In the end, the creator finally grants Truman the freedom to self-substantiate. And oh, Jim Carrey should have at least been nominated for an Oscar for this film.

Favorite scene: Christof is interviewed saying he does not see harm in deceiving Truman, arguing that he’d rather not know the truth. Christof is indeed resigned to the fact that Truman is no longer in his control.

61.  THE GYMNAST (2006)

“Rise above.”

Director: Ned Farr

Starring:  Dreya Weber, Addie Yungmee

Plotline: The talented Jane Hawkins was an impressive gymnast at the top of her game until a devastating injury ended her career. Now she pours the passion, strength and discipline that once fueled her sport into maintaining both a tedious job as a massage therapist and a loveless marriage. A chance meeting leads sets Jane on a new path: performing a CirqueDu Soleil style aerial act with a mysterious and beautiful dancer named Serena.

I love the quietness of this film, letting the flow and rhythm of the gymnast’s and dancer’s body movements do the talking.  It’s an enigmatic film that not only tackles a woman’s struggle with rediscovering her self-worth and attraction to another female but that of liberation from everything that strangles her.  This is a good film.  And the two female leads are great movers!

3 thoughts on “80 most favorite films (#65-61)

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