Alongside seeing every musical we possibly can and binge watching everything on Netflix, we love to see films too. Here’s a list of our top 5 that we enjoy together. Once again we have our personal picks too so we can share an individual favourite each.
1: About Time
This is our all-time favourite film. We decided to watch it one day just off the back of it being a Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Notting Hill) film and were so surprised how much we loved it! We feel like this is a hidden gem of Curtis’ films as not many people seem to know about it. The story follows Tim (Domhnall Gleeson) who discovers he can travel in time and alter his own life by doing so. He meets Mary (Rachel McAdams) and falls in love with her; their life then takes the plot of the film. The time travel element doesn’t feel too sci-fi or cheesy, it only adds to the morals on self reflection and taking life as it comes. Bill Nighy gives an emotional performance (come on, what film that has Bill Nighy in it can be bad?!) and the soundtrack is lovely too. We chose the Ben Fold’s song ‘The Luckiest’ from the soundtrack for Kayley to walk down the aisle to at our wedding. See this film and have a box of tissues on standby!
2: La La Land
The marmite film of 2017 completely captured us and we adore it. A stunning soundtrack created by Justin Hurwitz and our theatre faves Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen) accompanies the film which is beautifully shot and edited. The film is a great love story tinged with sadness as two characters both trying to achieve their dreams are struggling to balance that with their relationship. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone give powerful performances as the lead roles of Sebastian and Mia (see Gosling’s rant on the lack of love and respect for jazz music and Stone’s soliloquy in her audition later in the film) and we feel like this deserves every award it was given. We challenge you to try not to sing or hum ‘City of Stars’ when you hear those famous piano bars.
3: The Greatest Showman
THIS IS THE GREATEST SHOW! Another love/hate film among fans and critics, The Greatest Showman was our Boxing Day cinema trip in 2017 and we completely relished the musical theatre goodness we saw. The story obviously has taken some (a lot) of artistic license with depicting Barnum’s life and work, but you have to let things slide a little when a family friendly film is being created. The songs (Pasek and Paul again!) are amazing and the soundtrack is on all the time at our house. We won a costume competition at a Sing-a-long of the film at the Theatre Royal last year too! For those that don’t know the synopsis, it is a biopic of P.T. Barnum who is said to have originated the circus. From humble beginnings to a controversial tour with Jenny Lind, the film doesn’t let slip on the quality of the music; musical theatre fans, this one’s for you.
4: Forrest Gump
Where do you even start with Forrest Gump? As many would agree it is one of the best films ever made, certainly one of the best in Tom Hanks’ career. Not only one of the best, but one of the most unpredictable too – you find us somebody who predicts that the lovely guy on the bench at the beginning will be the ping pong world champion later in the film! It follows the life of Forrest Gump, a local man from Greenbow, Alabama who may be “slow”, but has the biggest heart in the country and the greatest story to tell. This film has it all with action, romance, comedy and tragedy throughout, there’s no way it wouldn’t be in our top 5 of all time.
5: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
A childhood hero of John’s, Jim Carrey has a bit of a genre change in this film. No messing about with funny lines or slapstick, Joel (Carrey) needs to get over his ex, Clementine (Kate Winslet) and seeks the same treatment she underwent: memory erasing. This doesn’t prove a simple task as the memories Joel sees just further ignite his love for Clementine, leading to him second guessing his initial decision. We saw this film at Tyneside Cinema on a Valentines Day special (erasing your ex from your memory, how romantic, we know!) and remembered how much we loved this film. It’s so dramatic and emotional, totally unlike any other Jim Carrey film but it is wonderful.
Personal Picks – Kayley: The Perks of Being a Wallflower
K: I love this film, and I love the book too. This is a great adaptation (with the author directing) that stays very true to the original story. The heartbreaking tale of Charlie, the introvert who never fit in and now finding himself in a new friends group and battling his mental health is so emotional. You feel so much empathy for him and are desperate for him to succeed with everything that comes his way. Read the book and see this film!
Personal Picks – John: Pulp Fiction
J: I’m a big Tarantino fan, and Pulp Fiction is my favourite of his films. I love all the intertwined storylines and timelines and feel like it’s one of the most quotable films ever! It’s too much to abbreviate into a small synopsis but it follows some hitmen, their boss, his wife, an armed robbery and a boxer who’s stories all come together in such a clever way. It’s very Tarantino with plenty of shocking content, violence and foul language but I love it.