Saturday, September 1, 2012

Movies That Will Mess You Up

If you have a Y chromosome, you might not relate to what I'm about to say.

But if you don't, I want you to know that it's okay if you feel emotionally unstable after watching the following trailers. I'm in a pretty shaky place right now just going through all this material.

I'm not pretending to own a lot of movies. Because I don't. But if I did, I would organize them like I do my books- by my own Basil E. Frankweiler categorical system. And I think it's important we recognize there is a genre of movies that Blockbuster and Redbox and IMDB have all missed:

Movies that will mess you up.

These are the movies that stick with you- not because they have some wowing visuals or a sick plot twist you can't get out of your head- but because they just hit a little too close to home. They go after the black and the white with a subpar eraser that doesn't totally ruin the page, but sure leaves a lot of grey smudgey everywhere.

These are the movies that make you think "What? This is my life. I had that same exact conversation last week." And then send you home with the moral of, "Happily ever after is real. Kind of. Sometimes."

Normally, this is a six-hour experience: the first two hours you spend watching the film, the next two you spend analyzing it with a friend, and then later that night after you've cheered up and eaten dinner, you lie in bed for the last two, addressing all kinds of metaphysical questions and hypothetical situations to your ceiling.

But lucky for you, I can shave this down to a ten-minute gut-wrench! What you dwell on late at night is out of my hands.

1.) He's Just Not That Into You gave me an unshakable distrust of Bradley Cooper. (And Scarlett, but let's be real- no one ever trusted her to begin with.) I wouldn't watch it again- but it changed the way I view dating.

2.) Nobody Walks was recently rated "R", for which I am intensely grateful. [I don't watch R-rated movies; it's a mormon thing I like to live by.] Because otherwise I would see this for sure. And it would mess me up.

3.) 500 Days of Summer. I remember being so pumped to see this because it had done so well at Sundance and was starring America's sunshine children. Then it ended and I said to myself, "Self, you are never getting married."
Do they tell you upfront it isn't a love story? Yes. Does that make it any more fun? no. it does not.

4.) Like Crazy. This trailer has the best soundtrack snippeting I've ever heard. And as the product of an international love story, I feel a personal connection to the plot. We watched it this summer in the basement of the Barlow Center... and afterwards, had a session of some strange group therapy. Awesome, in a terrible kind of way.

5.) Becoming Jane can mess you up if you're feeling really connected with your 18th century self. It's the go-to for when you want something sad, but not Life is Beautiful. No spoilers here because it is straight-up historical fact: Jane Austen hooks up with James McAvoy and then spends the rest of her life alone writing books!! What an unforgiving universe we live in.

**Apparently, Miramax didn't bother to produce any trailers that don't look absolutely stupid, so I'm not going to encourage you to watch them. Instead, please enjoy this

6.) Cheater BONUS! Because it's not a movie. But remember on 30 Rock when Liz finds Floyd but then doesn't go to Cleveland with him- and you know whoever she dates after that, she's never going to be able to do any better? And then he marries a blonde instead?

Yeah. Bummer.


  1. I too can attest to the fact that these movies mess you up!!! Becoming Jane kills every time!

  2. I think watching these trailers was enough to mess me up! And yet, I still want to see them, especially Like Crazy.

  3. I'm returning to say that I watched Like Crazy. And it totally and completely messed me up. I finished to you!

  4. I love 500 Days of Summer for the reason you hate it. Everyone can relate to it. Everyone has been both Tom and Summer. That's how most love stories really work. It's brilliant.

    People just don't like watching real life in movies.

    1. Nay, I do not "hate" any of these films- for you are right, the writing is brilliant. Watching these is like a rich piece of cake. Or a stuffed bean burrito. You still choose to eat it, even though you know there's a good chance you will regret your decision a few hours later.

      "People just don't like watching real life in movies" is a profound statement that is an entirely separate conversation in the making.