7 Deal-Breaker Movies…

July 23rd, 2010 by Jane

Over wine some weeks ago, several girlfriends and I were catching up. A few of my friends have children that are older than mine and I pay special attention to their successes and stumbles with their children. I’m taking notes on how to deal with the next stage before my kids get there. I’ll keep you posted on how that works out.

One friend with a teen-aged daughter was talking about watching a family-favorite movie and how relieved they all were when the daughter’s new boyfriend “got” the movie. They use this as a screening tool for who will make the cut or not. Some have failed in recent years.

This inspired a long conversation about movies that we loved and why. It seems everyone has a movie, or five, that are more like family anthems and are a litmus test for how you will relate to others. Kind of like dog people who can’t be married to non-dog lovers. Here are some movies on our collective list. What are some of yours?

1) Monty Python
This one has eliminated several unworthy boys for my friend’s daughter.
Update: my friend said for this test, they use Life of Brian and The Holy Grail. Lately, they have been watching Spinal Tap as a “no fail predictor of longevity.” She would like all of you to take responsibility for choosing your own family movies, as she would not be held liable for any unfortunate pairings. She’s a smart cookie that way.

2) Fargo
My husband and I used to know a poet who took all of her dates to see this movie. If they didn’t like it or didn’t laugh at the appropriate times, she wouldn’t go out with them again. She had seen it seven times at the theater and thought is was the funniest thing she had ever watched. I think only two of five guys made the cut. We lost track of her, so we don’t really know how that worked out. We call this the Fargo Test.

3) St. Ralph
Another friend cited this movie as one that is beloved by her whole family. I haven’t seen it yet. I hope I like it, so I can stay on the roster!

4) Strictly Ballroom
This would be one on our list. My husband and I love this early Baz Luhrman movie. It is funny, sweet and campy with lots of spray tan and glitter. Who doesn’t love that?

5) The Princess Bride
This would make the list, as well. A fairy tale for grown-ups and kids alike.

6) Home for the Holidays
We watch this every November to prepare ourselves for the crazy train that pulls into Dysfunction Junction for the holiday season. Holly Hunter and Robert Downey, Jr. before he turned his life around: hilarious.

7) Love Actually
I have told you before about my love for this movie. I recently found out that a friend of mine doesn’t like it at all and I can barely look at him anymore. I’m working through it as best I can.

13 Responses to “7 Deal-Breaker Movies…”

  1. Sister Sue Says:

    Saint Ralph is available on Netflix instant view. It looks fabulous. I have saved it to my queue.

    One of mine would be Auntie Mame, and Oh Brother Where Art Thou?

  2. Ellie Skross Says:

    Never heard of Saint Ralph before (where have I been?) but the trailer looks good. Now its on my list.

    Three of my favorite movies that I always want all my friends to love and am soooo disapointed when they don’t are – Shirley Valentine, The Commitments and Chorus Line. A bit of an eclectic mix but I watch them whenever they are on TV.

  3. Woody Bombay Says:

    “Monty Python” — you mean the entire oeuvre? (Sure, go on: Look it up if you must – I used that word correctly.) Cuz I would let someone slide if they weren’t head-over-heels with “Meaning of Life.” And I think that of the 45 television episodes, there were two, I think, that weren’t wall-to-wall funny but only wall-to-an-inch-from-the-other-wall funny.

    And … “Love Actually” … really? I mean, cute, funny in places, and the movie’s use of manipulative music is pretty effective toward the end. But … a dealbreaker? Oh my.

  4. Jane Says:

    Yes, not loving Love Actually is a deal-breaker, or at least a severe let-down. Re-watch the first ten minutes of that movie. If you do not have a tear in your eye, then we need to talk. Or not. ;) AND, I know what oeuvre means, darling. I just choose not to use it as it tends to make one sound uppity. My friend used the term “Monty Python” in general, so I went with that. I’ll ask her to clarify and get back with ya! Thank you for reading and commenting!

  5. Jane Says:

    Ellie, I love The Commitments and that would make my list, as well!

  6. nick ramos Says:

    Love Strictly Ballroom… No wonder I like Eric!
    Here’s my list.. not in any order:
    - Strictly Ballroom
    - Memento
    - The Crying Game
    - Once
    - The House of Games (David Memet)
    - Mystic River
    - Silence of the Lambs
    and many more!

  7. Susan Says:

    I’d have to a add few of my favorites …
    About a Boy
    In Her Shoes
    The Station Agent
    Shawn of the Dead
    The Englishman who went up a Hill but came down a Mountain
    and 9 (not nine, this is animated and wonderful).
    bring on the popcorn!

  8. Jane Says:

    Check out the update in #1 above! Thanks for your suggestions, everybody!

  9. Woody Bombay Says:

    Blue Velvet
    Reservoir Dogs
    Sweet Smell of Success
    The Godfather I and II and not III
    Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

  10. Woody Bombay Says:

    Duck Soup
    A Night at the Opera

  11. Sister Sue Says:


    Anchorman….seriously? For God’s sake, why? I can’t wait to hear this.

  12. Woody Bombay Says:

    Well, AtLoRB has a reputation among certain people (*cough/women/SexandtheCityfans/cough*) as being a brain-dead, run of the mill bad frat-boy comedy.

    In fact, it is not only hilarious but very, very sharp, acerbic, and — YES! — intelligent.

  13. Jane Says:

    I love the banter. And all of the suggestions!

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