Fifteen movies to watch over and over and over.

It's the middle of January.

This means the following things are totally, completely, and utterly true:

1.  I'm grumpy.
2.  It's flipping cold.  Except when it's not.  Then it's irritatingly warm.
3.  I'm stupidly sick with some unavoidable cough/drainage/mucousy stuff that I have had every January since the beginning of time.
4.  Really all I want to do right now is lay in bed, watch bad movies and eat mashed potatoes.
5.  I'm grumpy.

I'm thinking there's a pretty good chance I have just a touch of that Seasonal Affective Disorder stuff, because I can't remember a January that I didn't feel like this to some degree.  It may also be the vestiges of a post-holiday season retail manager hangover, which I still experience occasionally like phantom limb pain or something.

This year I've decided to give in to it a little bit.  Usually when I feel like this I might stick my nose (and my crabby, crabby mind) in a good book, but since I finished the last Dresden booknothing has interested me much.

So I've been watching bad tv (let's hear it for Restaurant Impossible!) just for background noise and in order to avoid... well, pretty much everything. But the Food Network can really only keep me going for so long, so I've started re-watching some movies that are old favorites.  I think most people have a list of movies that when you see it on tv, NO MATTER WHAT, you will drop everything and watch it for just a little while - ok, until the bitter end - and it usually leaves you feeling like you just had a nice chat with an old friend.  It doesn't hurt that you can recite most of the lines right along with the actors, either.

Yeah, I have a list like that too.  So here, in no particular order, are the fifteen movies that I can (and do!) watch over and over.

1. UHF  Yes, it stars Weird Al.  Yes, it has a TERRIBLE plot.  It doesn't matter.  Any time I've been asked to name my favorite movies, this one has made the list.  From Raoul's Wild Kingdom - FLY FIFI, FLY! - to WHEEL. OF. FISH. to "Supplies!" to Stanley Kowalski's mop, this is probably the movie I quote the most often, randomly, without warning, and often at wildly inopportune times.

2.  Coal Miner's Daughter If you've ever read my blog before, you know I'm a huge country music fan, but aside from the music, this movie is crazy important to me for one reason - it started my lifelong love affair with Tommy Lee Jones.  Apparently dry, irascible old men are my thing.

3.  Blazing Saddles  I've never met a Mel Brooks movie I didn't love, but this one is hands down my favorite.  It's wonderfully inappropriate and pee-your-pants funny.  It was also considered HIGHLY controversial when it was released in 1974 (a VERY good year, by the way), and may be even more so now, but I don't love it for it's political correctness and politeness.  I love it because it never fails to make me laugh, even though I can clearly see how terrible it really is.

4.  Top Gun It's Tom Cruise before he got all weird and started jumping all over Oprah's furniture and accepting roles for which he was not suited (I'm looking at you, Jack Reacher).  It's hot guys in white uniforms singing to deserving women.  But more importantly, it's Goose.  Gah, I love Goose.

5.  Footloose - the original, of course.  What's better than a coming of age story about religion, judgey small town life (a subject I'm a bit of an expert on, by the way), great music and dancing? Nothing, in my opinion.  Nothing at all.  

6.  Gone with the WindEverybody's always "Scarlett this" and "Scarlett that" but to be honest, I think she's a brat. I'm really more of a Melanie fan.  She's sweet, kind, pure and good.  Such a shame about the dying part, though.  Oops. I guess that's what's known as a "spoiler," huh?

7.  To Kill a MockingbirdGreat books do not always equal great movies.  However, this is a major exception to that rule.  Gregory Peck is SUPERB in this movie, and if I had to guess, I'd say I've watched this movie a hundred times.  True confession time - I pushed HARD to name one of my kids "Atticus."  Sadly, I lost.  Also, I'm still bitter about it.  

8.  The Shawshank RedemptionHere's another great example of how a good book CAN be made into a good movie.  Hollywood, take note.  It can be done.   This is, in my humble opinion, Morgan Freeman's best role out of a million fantastic ones.  

9.  Lonesome DoveI mentioned irascible old men were kinda my thing, right?  Robert Duvall, Tommy Lee Jones, cowboys, justice... all the things I love.  Now TECHNICALLY this is a mini-series, but it's my list and I want Lonesome Dove on it.  So there.

10.  The IncrediblesYeah, it's a cartoon.  Yeah, it's about super heroes.  But it's so so much more.  It's actually a pretty complex story about how marriages change over time, about finding your place in the world, and about doing hard things and making sacrifices to keep your family safe.  I cry every single time I watch it.  Which is pretty often.

11.  Great Balls of Fire!Jerry Lee Lewis was tortured and brilliant and damaged and that's just my kind of thing.  Also, Dennis Quaid.... Wowza.  And when that guy that looks JUST like a young Elvis shows up in his Army uniform and says "Just take it.  Take it all." I get chills every single time.

12.  JFKA three+ hour movie about history would not normally be my thing, but I've always had such a fascination with the Kennedys that this one holds my attention time and time and time again.  And we still don't really know what happened, do we?  Not really.

13.  OverboardThis is one of those movies in which the plot can't hold water, the acting is marginal... yet inexplicably, I still love.  I think it's because the deep theme in it is that people really can change. Also, Kurt Russell in a wife beater and overalls doesn't hurt.

14.  HoosiersWhen I was a kid, my entire elementary school got to go to the theater to see this movie right after it came out, and for a poor rural elementary school like mine, this was a BIG deal.  I remember how the small theater was full of kindergarten through eighth graders who fidgeted during all the "talking" parts and cheered loudly and wildly during all the basketball scenes.  When I watched the movie again as a grown-up, it struck me how bizarre a choice that was to take a group of elementary school kids to, but I also fell truly, madly and deeply in love with Dennis Hopper's character, and he continues to be the star for me.

15.  Big Trouble in Little ChinaHere's one more "bad plot, terrible acting" example that I inexplicable love.  Hey, I can't explain it; I just live it.

How about you?  Are there movies that you can watch over and over and over?  Let me know - I need a few more to add to my list ;)

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  1. Agreed about Overboard. Terrible movie, love it.

  2. The Food Network has sucked away hours of my life with its addictive, yet silly programming.

    And, the Incredibles is not a cartoon. It's an animated film, which makes it sound much more classy.

    This is a fun list of movies.

    1. Between the Food Network and HGTV, I barely ever have to get up off the couch. And you're right, "animated film" does sound much better. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I can quote Coal Miner's Daughter, line for line.
    It's a sickness, really.

    including but not limited to:
    "Doo, you sound like a old bar a-grallin"
    "Woman, if you want to keep that arm, you better get it offa my husband."
    "Yeah, I'm sick. We're a-gonna have a ba-by."

    ...and on and on and on. I am still in deep mourning over Levon Helm. I can hardly speak about it.


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