Monday, August 22, 2011

10 Day You Challenge - Day Eight: Three Films


1. Dirty Dancing

About the movie: Expecting the usual tedium that accompanies a summer in the Catskills with her family, 17-year-old Frances "Baby" Houseman (Jennifer Grey) is surprised to find herself stepping into the shoes of a professional hoofer -- and unexpectedly falling in love. The object of her affection? The resort's free-spirited dance instructor (Patrick Swayze).

Remember when channel 11 used to play 80’s movies non-stop? There is a long list of 80’s movies that I love. Dirty Dancing isn’t my number one 80’s movie, it is my number one and a half, but I had to put it on this list because it’s a classic.

I saw this movie for the first time when I was fourteen and I fell in love with the idea of being Baby. I would have done the same thing she did, by rebelling against her family and continuing to see Patrick Swayze behind their backs. The only difference is that I wouldn’t have needed Patrick to teach me how to dance. We would have bonded at the first shake of a tail feather. My favorite things about this movie are: that Baby’s parent’s learned not to judge a book by its cover, the music and the choreographed dance at the end. Who doesn’t want to be at an event where everyone just gets up and starts dancing in unison? People jumping off stages and ish. I love it!

2. Set It Off

About the movie: Sick of being victims of circumstance and fighting a system that keeps them from realizing their dreams, four black women from the Los Angeles projects opt to knock over a bank. Emboldened after pulling off the heist, they continue their crime spree. But the sticky-fingered quartet (played by Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Vivica A. Fox and Kimberly Elise) is unaware that a fixated police detective (John C. McGinley) has them in his sights.

No matter how many times I’ve seen this movie, I can always watch it again and again and again. I was seventeen when Set It Off came out in the movie theater and I went to see it twice by myself. Four badass bitches running around with guns, stealing money; and they would have all gotten away with it, if only they didn’t get greedy. Their performances are amazing, and even though the story is gangsta, I LOVE it! Once the bank robbing starts, I’m on the edge of my seat (even when I see it now), actually rooting for them to get away with it.

3. American Beauty:

About the movie: While struggling to endure his perfection-obsessed wife (Annette Bening), an unfulfilling job and a sullen teenage daughter (Thora Birch), suburbanite Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) falls deep into a midlife crisis and becomes infatuated with one of his daughter's friends (Mena Suvari).

American Beauty is one of my FAVORITE movies. I relate to every single character in this movie. The husband is just over his life and although a lot of the things he does during his mid-life crisis are totally wrong, I understand him. The high strung wife is just sick and tired of dealing with a man who begins to behave like a child and instead of trying to meet him on a middle ground, she has an affair. Their daughter does not relate to her parents at all and is just biding her time until she can make her escape. Her friend, who proclaims to be very promiscuous and openly flirts with her dad (who completely soaks up her advances), is just really a lonely, sad liar. Their next door neighbor is an abusive army veteran, who is secretly struggling with his sexuality (I don’t relate to him). Her boyfriend, who is also their neighbor’s son, seems to be an odd boy, but he is the one who seems to be more together than everyone else in the movie. He puts up with his unpleasant living situation, because he knows one day he will be free of it. My favorite thing about him is, like me, he finds beauty in the most peculiar things. I get why, at end of the movie, he bends down to look into Kevin Spacey’s dead face, but in the same situation, I definitely would not have done the same thing. I also get his fascination with the plastic bag. LOL. There are too many things that I have to say about this movie, but I’ll stop there.

I’m not saying I would do any of the things these characters did, but each character reflected a piece of me.

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