Desert Island Picks: 5 Movies I Wouldn’t Mind Being Stranded With
The desert island game used to be reserved for books. Lists were used to test the coolness (or literary savviness) of new and old friends alike, but now it’s perfectly plausible to assume you could crash land on an island with a solar battery and a laptop full of digital copies of your favorite films. Just like with books, asking someone what movies they would never get sick of watching after a long day of harvesting coconuts in the sun is a great way to get a feel for what kind of person you’re talking to.
In that spirit, I decided to make a list of my own. These are the five movies I would be overjoyed to be stranded with and sure one of them is a little bit embarrassing, but I’m copping to it anyway. I’d rather be honest than risk racking up bad Karma and wind up stuck on an island with nothing to watch but Schindler’s List and Citizen Kane.
I have seen Dirty Dancing so many times that I can more or less reenact the entire movie from memory. Is it cheesy? Sure, but it’s the good kind of cheese that involves shirtless Patrick Swayze, steamy dance numbers and a nerdy girl coming of age while learning how to mambo.
It’s a movie that I never get tired of, full of classic lines (I’ll see your “nobody puts Baby in a corner” and raise you a “I carried the watermelon”) and swoon-worthy moments. I can’t imagine a reality where I didn’t giggle like a twelve-year-old every time I heard “Time of My Life.” It may not be the classiest movie, but Dirty Dancing will always be at the top of my desert island picks list.
Zombies and Simon Pegg– what else do you need to know? No movie makes me laugh harder than this one. Shaun of the Dead speaks right to my geeky heart with its slackers vs. the zombie apocalypse set-up, but it’s surprisingly scary and moving as well. There’s a real story about growing up beneath all of those bloody zombie kills that gives the movie the extra oomph it needs to be more than a lightweight horror/comedy confection.
It also features cameos from every cool comedic British actor I’ve ever loved (minus John Cleese, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find him hiding behind a bush “Where’s Waldo?” style), which would be an added bonus because never seeing Martin Freeman’s face again would be a drag.
I knew I wanted at least one classic film on this list, but it took me a while to decide on which one. Screwball comedies are my great weakness. I love them all and if I could pick ten movies instead of five, at least half the list would consist of movies about Cary Grant wooing ladies into marrying (or remarrying) him. But in the end I settled for The Thin Man, the movie that best showcases my favorite classic Hollywood star duo, Myrna Loy and William Powell.
The zippy dialogue and easy chemistry between Powell and Loy is timeless. No one banters like those two. Plus, Asta is there and cute animals make everything better. Just ask The Artist.
It’s the whimsy factor. Amélie is pure eye candy, and I appreciate that quality in a movie. Beyond that, it’s such a warmhearted story that watching it is instantly comforting, like being wrapped in a cozy cinematic blanket. Amélie’s quest to bring joy to the lives of others is by turns funny and deeply sad because she herself is so disconnected (themes sure to resonate with the island bound).
There are so many subplots in the film (my favorite being the traveling gnome) that I end up appreciating different stories every time I watch it. In that way, it’s a movie that truly can’t be watched too often.
There was no way I wasn’t going to include a Hitchcock film on this list. Hitchcock is my all-time favorite director and his movies are indispensable as far as I’m concerned. If I knew I was going to crash on an island, I’d have to find a way to smuggle a complete Hitchcock collection along for the ride, but if I have to pick just one of his films, it has to be Rear Window.
The theme of voyeurism, the smoldering chemistry between James Stewart and Grace Kelly, and the almost palpable feeling of the summer heat in New York City makes this movie my very favorite Hitchcock. It exemplifies Hitchcock’s knack for suspense as well as his gift for dark humor. Psycho is creepier and Vertigo is headier, but Rear Window is infinitely watchable and more importantly, it’s fun– which is what I look for in a movie when I’m stocking up for a disaster scenario.
I showed you my list, now it’s only fair for you to show me yours. What five movies would you want to be stuck on a desert island with? (On the flipside, is there a movie that you would hate to be stuck with for eternity?) Tell me all about them in the comments!
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