My friend over at The Finicky Cynic has been issuing a blog challenge for the month of June. Each day, she’s been sharing a writing prompt to help inspire other bloggers to up their content game and get their creative juices flowin’.
There have been so many that have caught my eye, but when she asked for bloggers to share a list of movies that have changed their life, I knew I had to get in on the action.
“Changed” is probably a bit of a stretch, “influenced” is probably the word I would use to describe my picks. These are movies I feel like helped shape my tastes in film and resonated with me at different periods in my life. They’re the kind of movies you own on VHS, DVD and never stream illegally. I care that much for them.
1. The Little Mermaid – 1989
I was two years old when I first saw the Little Mermaid and it’s been one of my favourite movies ever since. This movie single-handedly shaped my romantic tastes in men: Dark hair, blue eyes, animal lover with a shit ton of money. I’m a victim of lusting after any man who resembles this cartoon, sea-faring Prince. This is why I’ll forever have an insatiable desire to lick Jake Gyllenhaal to see if he tastes like salt water and unrealistic expectations of love (I bet he does).
2. Grease- 1978
The film adaptation of the musical is a timeless tale of summer love between an unlikely couple. My sister and I would put on the soundtrack (on vinyl thank you very much) and recreate scenes and performances with our friends. This movie pushed the envelope and although set in the 1950’s has themes of youthful romance, rebellion and friendship that resonate with audiences. I also attribute this film with molding me into a foul mouthed six year old who sang, “She’s a real pussy-wagon!” at the top of my lungs. For me this film was a gateway drug into the musical genre, opening the door to films like Annie, My Fair Lady, Chicago and The Sound of Music.
3. Little Women – 1994
Little Women, the adaptation starring Winona Ryder and Susan Sarandon is hands down, one of my favourite films of all time. Hands down. Hands. Down. I was seven years old when I saw this movie in theatres, and felt a strong connection to Jo March that has grown immensely over time; she’s wild at heart, sensitive, craves adventure but is a little rough around the edges, not really fitting in with what’s expected of women the post Civil War period. The coming of age story of Little Women is dear to my heart but production wise, cinematographically, musically, this film for me is a visual masterpiece. I have the soundtrack on my iTunes. Seriously.
And young Christian Bale. *Swoon*
4. Closer – 2004
Another adaptation of a play. This film follows the intertwining relationships between two couples, and doesn’t shy away from touching on the messiness and complexities of romantic/sexual relationships. When I first saw this film I was seventeen, and had never seen a film address raw topics like infidelity and betrayal through Hollywood heavyweights like Julia Roberts and Natalie Portman. It’s hard to judge the characters of this film, because as I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen myself in each of them, each one is flawed, which is incredibly appealing to my now 27 year old self. This movie pushed me towards film and literature that explores these topics and doesn’t necessarily ascribe to the Happily Ever After Hollywood tale that I had previously been attracted to.
If you haven’t seen this film, I highly recommend it. I mean, look at this line:
Who ends a list at 4? I DO!
What movies have changed your life?