by Maggie Kruger
Much to the chagrin of my friends and family, I am a movie geek. (They’re also fairly chagrined that I use the word ‘chagrin’ but never mind that.) They don’t complain about me being a movie geek when they can’t remember the title of that film with that bloke and the woman, or when we’re in the tiebreak round of a pub quiz and the prize rests on someone knowing which actor links The Shawshank Redemption and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (I know, easy right?*), but the rest of the time, they’re fairly embarrassed by me.
But I don’t care.
If you’re a geek, then the movies are your friends. Just as it is with songs, there is a movie to suit every mood and occasion. There are movies that remind you of certain times in your life (you only need one look at Sheri’s ‘It Came From The 80s’ articles to know this is true), and there are movies that you can watch over and over again, saying each line of dialogue along with the characters. There are movies you watch even though you know you’ll cry for an hour afterwards, and there are movies you watch knowing that if you take a drink at the wrong time, it’ll come shooting out your nose cos you’re laughing so hard.
But like anything in life, it’s all about the timing! You watch the wrong movie on the wrong night and it can really spoil your enjoyment of it. You can’t watch Requiem for a Dream on a Friday night thinking it’s going to set you up for a fun times party weekend: when you’re choosing your movies for a specific night of the week, do as the Knight says and for heaven’s sake: Choose wisely.
AND SO! Here’s my totally unscientific guide to how to plan your movie watching week: you need never go wrong again!
Monday: As the great Bob Geldof said, “I don’t like Mondays”. I can’t stand the first day of the working week, because the last weekend wasn’t long enough and the next one is JUST. SO. FAR. AWAY. With this in mind, you might think that this calls for Comedy. Something hilarious starring Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler and Jack Black – or preferably all three. But no.
Weirdly enough I can’t watch comedies or anything overly energetic that early in the week, so I usually pick something fairly sombre. Not Life Is Beautiful sombre, but a good drama, something to keep the braincells ticking over so you can be amazingly productive and marvellous at the office. Just looking at my DVD shelves now, I can see a pile of Monday night possibilities: Road to Perdition, The Pleasantville, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Children of Men – all good, solid stories that will give you something to think about after you’ve collapsed on the sofa in a heap.
Tuesday: You’ve made it through 2 days at the office! Well done! You’re still not watching Anchorman though. Tuesday’s a funny old day. You can’t complain about it being Monday, and yet Friday night is still SO. FAR. AWAY. It’s enough to make you come home, curl up on the sofa in the foetal position and rock back and forth for 6 hours. Well, you could do that… OR you could watch something gentle, heartwarming and comforting: the cinematic equivalent of chicken soup. Kinky Boots, Dave and Doc Hollywood are all perfect for a Tuesday – lovely movies that make you want to hug everyone.
Wednesday: Hump Day! Wednesday is, IMHO, the most hopeful day of the week. It’s all downhill from here and suddenly the weekend seems just a little bit LESS. FAR. AWAY. But put down Nacho Libre please, you’re still not getting a comedy. Instead I encourage you to embrace your romantic side, and settle down with a love story. Now, I’m not talking a Jennifer Aniston rom-com (or god forbid, a Kirsten Dunst one), but something with a brain, as well as a heart – Waitress, Say Anything, An Affair to Remember are all brilliant and not too schmaltzy sweet.
Thursday: I have to admit, Thursday is my favourite day of the week. The weekend’s so close you can smell it, and let’s face it, who *really* does any work on a Friday, anyway? My favourite choice for a Thursday is something a little bit alternative – arthouse, or an indie flick – something vaguely cerebral to counterpoint the guilty pleasures lying in store from tomorrow onwards. Favourite Thursday night choices include (looking at the DVD shelf again): Empire Records, The Royal Tenenbaums, even some old black and white classics – I do like a film noir on a Thursday. Double Indemnity and Build My Gallows High are both worth a watch.
Friday: It’s the weekend!! You’ve cut out of work early, the pizza’s on its way and you’ve got a bag of popcorn waiting in the wings. No, put DOWN that copy of Zoolander: you’re still not watching a comedy. Friday night is Horror Night! As I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan of splatter movies, or the really really terrifying Japanese horrors, but give me a good old-fashioned 70s or 80s horror – The Shining, The Omen, The Exorcist – and I’m happy. I also love love love scary sci-fis: The Fly, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, that kind of thing. More recently I was v. impressed by Slither, but that could just be because I’m unhealthily obsessed with Nathan Fillion.
Saturday: I know, I shouldn’t really be encouraging people to watch a movie EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I should be encouraging people to go out, socialise, get some fresh air. If you’re desperate for some vitamin D then go outside during daylight hours, but in the meantime get yourself ready for a great big silly Saturday night movie… I’m talking blockbusters, action movies, disaster movies, adventure movies. But don’t get carried away and think that any old rubbish will do – I mean each to their own and all that but there’s really no need for you to be watching Steven Seagal movies. I’m partial to a bit of Day After Tomorrow myself, but I also wholeheartedly approve of Bruce Willis movies, sports movies in the vein of Major League, and almost any movie based on one of the Marvel Comics back catalogue.
If you’re feeling bold, you could easily pull a Saturday night double bill. But what to follow a great big shouty actioner with? Seriously, step *away* from Blades of Glory. Saturday late nights are for thrillers. The late eighties/early nineties yielded some superb psychopath movies: Pacific Heights, Dead Calm, Unlawful Entry… As I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of the ‘Oops, didn’t kill them properly the first time’ school of endings and they were almost de rigeur for any movie starring Michael Keaton or Ray Liotta circa 1992.
Sunday: Sunday during the day is great. You can go for lunch with friends, do a load of laundry, do anything you want. Sunday NIGHTS, however, are a different matter. I left school 15 years ago and I still get that ‘haven’t done my homework’ feeling at about 7pm on a Sunday evening, and as far as I know, there’s only one way to get rid of it. Now, now is the time for some gut-busting comedy – personally I’ve never gone wrong with something like Old School, Little Nicky or Team America: World Police, but then again I’ve got an incredibly immature sense of humour and am easily pleased by some swearing and the odd fart joke. If I really need to pull the big guns out, then Monty Python’s Life of Brian, Airplane, or The Princess Bride are my go-to titles, but you don’t want to overdo them, they’re for emergencies only!
Give it a go and see how you get on – you might totally disagree with me in which case let me know what I should be watching and when I should be watching it – I’m open to suggestions!!
*The answer of course is Clancy Brown. If you didn’t know that, you should be ashamed of yourself! 😉