I just watched Forrest Gump…for the fifty-second time…at least!   Isn’t that just the best movie?  Every time I watch it, I see something I didn’t notice before.  I think, maybe the reason I like it so much is that so much of the things that ‘happened’ during the movie, I remember really happening.  And, even though Forrest is there only through ‘movie magic’, we somehow feel as if he could have been there.

 I had a smiley face  T-shirt!  I remember Watergate, even if I didn’t understand it at the time.  I remember when Nixon resigned and gave the Peace signs as he entered the plane.  I remember Viet Nam, and hippies, and when marijuana became a big thing.  I remember Kennedy and his assassination,  I remember when we first started hearing about AIDS, and the hysteria that followed.  I remember when Reagan was shot.

So, maybe the reason I like it so much is that it reminds me of my ‘formative years’.  That, and I always like the way he and his son sat on the riverbank together.  And, you know, you just KNOW, that boy is going to have a great life.

Another movie I can watch over and over is Shawshank Redemption.  Such amazing performances.  I love the way good finally triumphs over evil…even though it took many years.  I like to imagine those two guys growing old together by the sea in Mexico.

One of the funniest movies ever is The Princess Bride.  Well, maybe not so much funny as it is clever.  You have to watch it several times to even get all the jokes.  Wonderful writing.

And, naturally, those tried and true ‘girly’ movies…Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing, and Fried Green Tomatoes, and Ghost and Steel Magnolia’s are always running on some station somewhere.  And  Under the Tuscan Sun…great!  I have to stop and watch anytime I flip past them on the TV.

And, I can’t leave out Somewhere in Time…perfect!  And, the music!  Oh, it’s such a beautiful, beautiful movie.  And so romantic.  Along those lines…Chocolat…not too well known, but such a beautiful picture and story.

I do not like movies that are full of stress and nonstop excitement and heart stopping action.  I guess I have enough stress in my life already.  When I go to a movie, I want to laugh or at least smile.  I don’t mind a serious subject or a movie that is sad.  But, I really like to have that ‘uplifted’ feeling when I leave the theater.  One of the movies that fits into this category for me is Awakenings with Robin Williams portraying doctor, Oliver Sachs, who discovers the drug L-dopa and ‘awakens’ patients who have been in catatonic states for decades.  Based on the memoirs of Sachs, it is sad and touching and sweet, and heart warming.  It also plays somewhere on TV every month or so.   Shawshank fits here, as well as, Schindler’s List, which everyone should have to watch, and Rain Man, which gave us all a lesson in compassion and acceptance.  One more…Cast Away!

I recently watched a movie, a few years old, but new to me.  I knew it would be a little bit terrifying, just from the reviews I read.  But, it so intrigued me, I watched it anyway.  I had the TV controls in my hand and could fast forward if necessary.  The movie was Seven Pounds,  starring Will Smith.  What a movie!  I had to watch it twice to get it all straight in my mind.  But, so powerful.  No, I could not watch about 5 minutes of it…but just imagining it is close enough.  I love a movie that plays over and over in my mind.  The more it is pondered, the more is gleaned from it.

Little Miss Sunshine was a movie that is hard to forget.  First of all, the language is atrocious…very bad.  Second, this is the most dysfunctional family ever…including their extended family.  But, through their journey to the little girl’s beauty pageant…we learn to see much deeper into each character and begin to understand them.  Excellent movie…great lessons…a little kooky…awful language.  As Good As It Gets…tops, too!

Of course, I suffered through all the Star Wars movies, and the extended versions.  I know all about Luke, and Leia, and Han, and Chewbacca and Lando, and Jabba, and the stormtroopers, and the droids, and R2-D2, and C3PO, and…Yoda.  And, I could give you about 20 or so more names, but I’ll spare you.  All my boys loved The      Lord of the Rings movies, and watched them again and again.  Me, not so much…too dark.  The best of all the ‘other worldly’ movies…E.T….the best for all the reasons a movie can be called great!  Somehow the Harry Potter stuff escaped us…and that’s fine with me.  Those vampire kids, too…never saw them…never want to.

 I thought I wanted to see The Help, but I read the book, and I’m afraid the movie may not match up.  You know when you read a book, you put a face to your characters, you build the town they live in and you create a face and life for the friend and acquaintances.  They are alive as you read the book, with features just as the author dictates.  But, if you see a movie after you have read the book…it very rarely looks like you saw it in your mind.  So instead of seeing the characters for the first time, it is actually for the second time and they may be nothing like you built them.  My niece, Tara, said that is what bothered her a lot in the movie.  We both have a deep affinity for reading.

I confess I don’t go to movie theaters much…just wait for them to come out on TV or whatever it is now that we play on our TV.  What movies have you committed to memory?  Which ones can you watch over and over?  Which ones made a real impact in your life or taught you a lesson?  I’m sure I’ve forgotten some really important movie, but perhaps you will jog my memory.  Love to hear your answers.