I'm having a birthday party, but you're not invited, but you can come if you want.

The above quote is from one of my favorite movies, What's Eating Gilbert Grape.  (Some of you have noticed hints on my tweets lately, and this blog is what they have been about.)  

For months now I've planning to do a blog based solely on my favorite movies...but after realizing I have way too many favorites, I'm thinking none of them would get the time they deserve if I post them all at once, so this will be broken down into a few blogs over the next few weeks.

We'll start out with my favorite 90's movies, and go through 1993.  Keep in mind that I am just stating my opinion - not all of these are critically acclaimed (Are any  of them? I'm not sure.) or five star rated movies, just the ones that will forever be in my "favorite" list. Ones that I fell in love with, that made me laugh or cry, or both.  

Would I suggest you watch them?  Of course I would. They're my favorites.  (FYI I'm not very picky with movies -- as long as there isn't tons of blood flying everywhere I watch almost anything.  Not a fan of horror though -- sorry horror fans.)

Hope you enjoy the facts about each one. (Keep in mind that movie ratings during the 90's were more lenient than they are now!)  Movies with a ** symbol are ones I would love to add to my DVD collection. (Ebay and I are best buddies.)  Also, I was using the tab key overzealously at first, and had to go to a different format...but in the process a few things stayed spaced out but they will NOT show on my draft...so I apologize.

Very quickly before I start, I'd like to give you all an idea of my age.  I turned 12 years old in October of 1990, so that should put my movie viewing status/tastes in perspective a bit.  And here we go....

*Not sure why, but for some reason I have no favorites for this year.   


My Girl - PG


When your dad's an undertaker, your mom's in heaven, and your grandma's got a screw loose, it's good to have a friend who understands you.  Even if he is a boy. 


Dan Aykroyd, Jamie Lee Curtis, Macaulay Culkin, Anna Chlumsky (Vada)


Won MTV's "Best Kiss" category, nominated for "Best Breakthrough Performance" for Anna Chlumsky , and "Best On-Screen Duo" for Anna Chlumsky and Macaulay Culkin.
Won Young Artist Award's Special Award for "Most Promising Young Newcomer" for Anna Chlumsky, nominated for "Young Artist Award" in the Best Family  Motion Picture category

Memorable quote:  

Vada - "I was born jaundiced. Once I sat on a toilet seat at a truck stop and caught hemorrhoids.  And I've learned to live with this chicken bone that's been lodged in  my throat for the past three years.  So I knew Dad would be devastated when he learned my latest affliction."

Coffee chatter:  This film begins in the summer of 1972 (so yes, you get to hear songs from the 70's).  Viewers see the world through an 11 year old girl's eyes.  I saw this movie in the theater with two of my friends. Love it.

The Man in the Moon -   PG13


Remember when you couldn't wait for your life to begin... and then, one day, it did?


Sam Waterston, Tess Harper, Gail Strickland, Reese Witherspoon (Dani), Jason  London,  Emily Warfield


Young Artist Award nominations for "Best Young Actress Co-starring in a Motion Picture" for Emily Warfield and "Best Young Actress Starring in a Motion Picture" for Reese Witherspoon

Memorable Quote:

Dani - "Are you always this nice to people you just met or are you practicin' up to be a horse's butt?"

Coffee Chatter:  This movie takes place in the summer of 1957 -- and was ReeseWitherspoon's film debut at 14 years old.  (She actually tried out for the role of an extra, and landed a lead role.) 

**Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken -  G


The inspiring true-life adventure of a courageous young rebel who defied the odds...and won.


Gabrielle Anwar (Sonora), Michael Schoeffling, Cliff Robertson, Dylan Kussman, Kathleen York

Memorable Quote:     

Sonora - "Manure just happens to be my specialty."

Coffee Chatter:  This Disney movie takes place during the depression, and is based on the true story of a woman who did horse diving during that era.  (Yes, it is exactly how it  sounds - diving into water, while on horseback.)  Wild Hearts Can't be Broken is a very inspirational movie -- though it is rated G and a good family movie, I could watch it over and over again by myself, as well.


Alan & Naomi - PG


(No tagline so I'm using something the product description from Amazon.com)
This atmospheric tale of real love, set in 1944 Brooklyn and shot on a deliciously alive studio street, concerns a young Jewish boy named Alan Silverman (Lukas Haas) who is pressured into providing companionship for a catatonic French girl, Naomi Kirschenbaum (Vanessa Zaoui). The latter witnessed her father's death at the hands of the Gestapo and has been lost in herself ever since. A small crowd of Naomi's boosters, including Alan's parents (Michael Gross, Amy Aquino), hope that his frequent visits to her can resuscitate her old spirit. Poor Alan, however, with his mind on such crucial matters as improving his stickball game, is hardly in a position to understand Naomi's psychological wilderness, let alone penetrate it. Yet his essential decency wins over all else, and if his secrecy about the matter draws the disappointment and wrath of his bewildered best friend--an endearing, tough, Irish-Catholic pug named Shaun Kelly (a wonderful performance by Kevin Connolly)--then Naomi's progressive steps toward trust are worth it. ..." --Tom Keogh


Lukas Haas, Vanessa Zaoui, Michael Gross, Amy Aquino


Won Heartland Film Festival's "Crystal Heart Award", nominated for "Young Artist Award" for Vanessa Zaoui (Naomi) in the Best Young Actress Co-starring in a Motion Picture category

Coffee Chatter: This movie has been very hard for me to find on DVD, but I think I may have finally found it. For those of you who still own VHS players, there are many VHS versions out there.  Alan & Naomi is based on the book of the same name by Myron Levoy (a children's book for the 11-14 year old range - that I have not read).  Wonderful, touching movie.

School Ties - 1992


Just because you're accepted doesn't mean you belong.


Brendan Fraser, Matt Damon, Chris O'Donnell, Randall Batinkoff


Nominated for Casting Society of America, "USA 's Best casting for Feature Film, Comedy", and Political Film Society, USA's "PFS Award" in the Human Rights category

Coffee Chatter:  School Ties is based on personal experiences of writer and TV producer, Dick Wolf (producer of Law & Order, amongst other things).  The story takes place in the 1950's and one thing it does is show the viewer how people can make ethnic jokes and yet not realize the very person standing next to them may be that exact ethnicity.  If you enjoy watching "pre-star" performances, this is a good movie to check out -- Chris O' Donnel, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Brendan Fraser are all in this movie.


**Swing Kids - PG13


In a world on the brink of war, you either march to one tune or dance to another.


Robert Sean Leonard (Peter), Christian Bale, Frank Whaley, Barbara Hershey


Won American Chreography Award for "Outstanding Achievement in Feature Film" category (tied with "What's Love Got to Do With it"), Young Artist Award in the "Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Motion Picture" category for Christian Bale, Robert Sean Leonard, David Tom and Frank Whaley

Memorable Quote:

Peter - "It dont mean a thing if it ain't got that swing. Do wah, do wah, do wah, do wah do wah!"

Coffee Chatter: Swing Kids takes place in Germany during World War II.  As the war progresses, the "laws" become more and more strict, until no one is allowed to do anything unless it is deemed "German".   A group of kids who are taken by America's Swing music and don't care about the politics of the war go underground at night, dancing together, wearing long hair (another "law" -- the boys/men were not allowed to have long hair), and listening to Swing night and day (even though they knew anything played by anyone of a different race or skin color other than German was just downright dangerous).  I like anything with music and dancing -- but don't worry -- there wasn't a whole lot of dancing, though when there was, it was great.  (I can't imagine attempting to dance like that - the women are tossed all over the place!)  Again, if any of you like "pre-famous" movies, Robert Sean Leonard (currently on House), Christian Bale and Noah Wyle are all on this movie.

The Sandlot - PG


The adventure of a lifetime, the summer of their dreams... the dog of their nightmares.  


Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar (Benny), Patrick Renna, Chauncey Leopardi, Marty York


Won Young Artist Award in the "Outstanding Youth Ensemble in a Motion Picture" category - Brandon Quintin Adams, Victor DiMattia, Grant Gelt, Tom Guiry, Chancey Leopardi, Shane Obedzinski, Patrick Renna, Mike Vitar and Marty York

Memorable Quote:

Benny Rodriguez - "Anyone who wants to be a can't-hack-it pantywaist who wears their mama's bra, raise your hand."

Coffee Chatter:  The boys of The Sandlot all have quirky characteristics which makes you like them even more than you would if it was just another group of boys playing baseball.  The theme of the movie is baseball, yes, but there's more to this movie than that. The Sandlot, based on the 1960's, proves that friendship and determination go a long way.  There have been two more Sandlot movies since this original - I have seen Sandlot 2 once and though it was cute, it wasn't as good as the original.  Sandlot 3 came out two years ago but I only learned about it today as I was researching.  Chauncey Leopardi, who plays Squints in the original, reprises his role in Sandlot 3.

**What's Eating Gilbert Grape - PG13


Arnie knows a secret.  His big brother Gilbert is the greatest person on the planet.


Johnny Depp (Gilbert), Leonardo DiCaprio (Arnie), Juliette Lewis, Mary Steenburgen


Won awards for Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Leonardo DiCaprio in "Emerging Actor" category, National Board of Review, USA for Leonardo  DiCaprio in the "Best Supporting Actor" category, and two foreign film awards.  Nominated for a Golden Globe for Leonardo DiCaprio in the "Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture" category, nominated for an Oscar for Leonardo DiCaprio in "Best Actor in a Supporting Role" category.

Memorable Quotes:

Arnie - "Match in the gas tank, boom, boom!"

Arnie - "I killed it, Gilbert!  I killed it!"

Coffee Chatter:  What's Eating Gilbert Grape was a different kind of movie for the early 1990's. The main issue is Gilbert Grape (Johnny Depp) dealing with the huge undertaking of taking care of his mentally handicapped brother, Arnie (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his home-bound mother, but it's also a love story.  For those of you who, like me, watched Leonardo DiCaprio each week on Growing Pains, it's easy to see that he was pretty young in his acting career at this point (WEGG came out a year after those episodes), yet he does an absolutely amazing job playing Arnie.  This movie might have meant more to me considering I have a brother with a handicap, I'm not sure -- but I really recommend watching it at least once.

Until I began to post everything, I hadn't realized most of the movies I love take place at least a few decades ago!  If anyone would like to remind me of more movies from 1990-93, please do.  It was hard to narrow it down to a few, and at the end it may be necessary to list a few honorable mentions for the entire decade. Keep watching for tweets to more lines from my favorite movies -- and if you recognize them, I want to hear about it!


Kate said...

Great post - I now want to go and rent these films again - haven't seen most of them in years

Kate x

Anita said...

I haven't seen any of those movies. I rarely see movies - DVDs, TV, theaters, nowhere. Oh, I did see the Hannah Montana movie with my kids and Up in 3D(I think that's the name of it)this summer. I think I'm missing out! Maybe I'll go see Julie and Julia,or whatever the name of it is, before it leaves the theater. I like Meryl Streep.

Elisabeth Black said...

Oh, some of these were mine, too! We're about the same age.

Liana Brooks said...

School Ties looks like an eye candy movie. Yum! But I've never heard of it. Actually, most of those I've never seen. I must have been TV deprived as a child.

Oh, and FTR, swing dancing is a lot of fun :o) Especially the getting tossed in the air bit.

Dorraine said...

What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a fav of mine. Really love most anything with Johnny Depp!