You’ve stumbled upon Circle of Jerks, our sporadically published, weekly feature in which we ask the questions that really matter to our writers and readers.
It’s a time to take a break from our busy lives and revel in the one thing that we all share: a deep, passionate love of movies. If you have a question you’d like answered by the FSR readers and staff, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hey jerks my question is what movie do you recommend the most to friends and strangers. I’ve been asking people I know the same thing lately and I have been really really surprised by some of the answers. Thanks. – Carlos P.
Because I have a rather eclectic group of friends with a broad range of tastes, the film I recommend to everyone because I think it can appeal to almost anyone with even just the slightest pinch of a sense of humor is The Thin Man.
William Powell plays the kind of suave, quick-witted and intelligent personality that every man wishes they were and Myrna Loy runs stride-for-stride in witticisms, good nature and alcohol consumption, and is the embodiment of every man’s fantasy even during the five minutes of the year he isn’t thinking about sex. You know, those five minutes when he would like someone to talk to and drink with? She’s got that part of the imagination in check also.
The mystery at the center of the plot is somewhat convoluted and some of the supporting characters are borderline caricatures, but if Powell and Loy are on screen (which is about 90 percent of the film) everything else takes a backseat to their charismatic personae and a male/female chemistry that is, still to this day in my opinion, unrivaled in cinema. Even if you think you don’t like classic Hollywood films The Thin Man is about as entertaining and charming as the two adjectives can be.
Being a contributor to such a fine cinematic publication as Film School Rejects means that people often come to me looking for movie recommendations. They seem to think I’ll offer up some brilliant but little-known cinematic gem guaranteed to blow them away. They’re partly right.
A few months ago I finally got around to seeing The Room – a celluloid train wreck that eschews every accepted cinematic convention – and nary a day has gone by since that I haven’t recommended it to someone, be it friends, colleagues, strangers on the subway…
In my humble opinion, in order to really appreciate the good you have to learn to appreciate the bad. And The Room, dear friends, is bad. Is it the characters and subplots that are introduced and then immediately dismissed without warning? The nonsensical dialogue? The most unsexy and uncomfortable sex scenes ever to grace the silver screen? Oh yes, it’s all those things and more. The Room is so incredibly amateurish and inept that it’s magical. And there’s room in everyone’s life for a little magic.
The world is divided into two types of people: those who love The Room, and those who haven’t seen it yet. Don’t be one of the latter. See it. Love it. And when you’re done, follow it up with Birdemic. You’ll thank me later.
This is a very hard question for me to answer. Not because I don’t have films that I recommend, but rather because I don’t talk to strangers. And come to think of it, I try not to talk to family or friends either. But when I’m forced to actually talk to people in real life, I’d find myself recommending The Hudsucker Proxy. This happens because I often encounter people interested in film, which inevitably leads to a discussion of the Coen Brothers.
Everyone knows their big, popular films like Fargo, No Country for Old Men, Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski and whatever happens to be going for award nominations in any given year. But I’ve discovered that The Hudsucker Proxy is one of those rare movies that some fans of the Coen Brothers haven’t seen. It’s cute, funny, clever and unlike any other movie you’ve ever seen.
Though, this year there seems to be one movie that I have been defending a lot, and that’s Devil. Sure, I’m an M. Night Shyamalan apologist, but I totally understand that there’s lots of folks out there that think he’s full of poop. But all the ridicule that Devil got for having his name on it was undeserved, and most people I recommend that film to end up coming back to me and letting me know that it was, in fact, pretty damn entertaining.
The movie that I undoubtedly recommend the most is Se7en. If someone is looking for a solid drama? Se7en. Something to make them feel better? Se7en. An animated adventure about a boy and his dog? Se7en. A thriller where a serial killer stalks his prey according to religious fanaticism and the seven deadly sins? I recommend they see Dunstan Checks In followed by Se7en.
Not only is it a movie I’m obsessed with on a cellular level (and one that was referenced by Luke Mullen during a special ceremony at my wedding), it’s also the movie that first showed me how cool my mom actually is.
It played on one of the premium channels during the day while I was back home for a break between college semesters. I, of course, wanted to watch it, and my mother, of course, wanted to spend time with me. The prospect of watching a guy stutter-spit a monologue about fucking a woman while wearing a large blade on his crotch with the saintly mother that raised me gave me pause, but at the end of the credits, my mom not only tolerated it, she genuinely enjoyed it.
She loved it. I was amazed. There, amidst all of the cross-stitching and handmade cards was proof that my mother was, in fact, totally down with David Fincher.
I learned that I could be surprised by who liked what types of movies, so no matter who it is, if someone is looking for a good film, I always recommend Se7en.