Ah, the teenage years. I owned a t-shirt that read “I am the Evil Twin,” wore pants with multiple zippers that zipped open nothing, and searched for ghosts in newly built homes. Why there would be ghosts in homes that don’t have pasts yet, I don’t know. Perhaps they were built on Indian burial grounds. Or perhaps I just hadn’t seen enough horror films yet.
When I’m really really embarrassed about things, I usually tell everyone so they are sure to know that I know I’m an idiot. So here we go. Most of my film choices in these years were characteristically moody and over dramatic, and yet I somehow managed to keep my favorites fairly respectable.
It’s kind of easy keeping track of my favorites from this time period, because I bought all the soundtracks through BMG.
This movie changed my life. No, you don’t understand. This movie changed my life. Suddenly there were things called “boys” and they could look like Tom Cruise! God, I loved that 40-year-old man. I knew everything about him. Like, how he was a wrestler in high school but suffered a knee injury, which kids he had with which wife, and his entire filmography. Mission: Impossible was my favorite, but Rain Man, Legend, A Few Good Men, Jerry Maguire, Far and a Fucking Way!!!, could all be included. Any movie Tom Cruise was in was my favorite, really. I had fantasies I made up while doing my paper route, in which Tom and I met, fell in love, and went out for milkshakes.
For my 12th birthday my mom got a lady in my ward to get me one of those cardboard cutouts of Jerry Maguire on his cell phone they had in Blockbusters. We had seen the movie edited on BYU campus (back when they used to edit all the R-rated romantic comedies for the Mormons) and I screamed and screamed over that cutout. I loved nothing more. Until….my dad edited my own VHS copy of Jerry Maguire!!!! Holy shit. I’m getting excited and teary-eyed just thinking about it. Encouraging a 12-year-old in her old man celebrity crush? My parents were awesome.
Oh, and go watch 1996’s Mission: Impossible again. It’s Brian de Palma and it’s actually very good.
The X-Files: Fight the Future
If there was one thing I loved more than Tom Cruise, it was The X-Files. In fact, the television show kind of took over my obsessive energy as I started getting a little fed up with Tom (he made a bunch of R-rated stuff that’s his best now, but I had no interest in seeing then. Plus he grew his hair out long and greasy. Ew.). If you’ve read this blog at all, you’re familiar with my unhealthy love of Mulder, Scully, and The Gang, so I won’t rehash all those great memories. But you should know that I was first in line for this film, opening day, wearing my “I Want to Believe” t-shirt. And I was not disappointed.
10 Thing I Hate About You
At the time I thought Kat Stratford was a representation of me on film. Long wavy blond hair, bad attitude, frequently-mistaken-for-a-lesbian. Looking back, I’m thinking I probably admired her enough that I was actually a representation of her in real life. But that’s ok. This movie still helped define who I turned out to be, and helped me blame my lack of popularity on the fact that most people were just scared of me.
I know. You’re looking at my previous favorites and thinking “Rushmore? When did this happen?” But it’s a very simple explanation: Luke Wilson starred in my favorite episode of The X-files, so I had to see everything he made. In the process, I stumbled across this little movie when it premiered on Comedy Central. And I loved it. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. It seems far too sophisticated for a child like me, but I did love it.
So I recorded it. But my little shit of a sister (sorry Jessica) didn’t know I was recording it, and changed the channel to Boy Meets World in the middle of the first act. Which means, I totally missed Max’s club montage. I was furious at first, but, in the end, it was kind of a blessing in disguise. By the time I actually saw the R-rated version of the movie, I was almost sick of Rushmore. Then I saw that montage and was hooked again.
And here we enter a new phase of my life: the catch-up-on-all-the-R-rated-movies-I-missed phase. Out of my parents’ house, into a dorm room with my own TV and I was hooked. Once again I developed an interest bordering on obsession for a film called Fight Club. I had read the book many times previous to watching the movie, and though there were some differences, I thought they were for the better. I watched this movie almost every day for a month or so (alternating it with Girl, Interrupted and Moulin Rouge). I watched every commentary track on the special edition DVD. I decided to major in film.
Runners Up: Night at the Roxbury, Empire Records, The Sixth Sense, Girl Interrupted, Moulin Rouge