The Haunted Wordsmith asks us to name 10 movies that influenced us. That’s a hard question ~ I’d be able to more easily choose books. But I’m up for the challenge!
1. When Harry Met Sally. I love this movie. There are so many fabulous quotes from it (and I’m not usually a person who goes around quoting from movies). Harry is hilarious! However I don’t feel the romance between Harry and Sally is ideal at all ~ I dislike him as a romantic hero for most of the film, plus they break up, etc. He’s a jerk, let’s be honest, even though he improves, unlike yer average dude. But the romance between their sidekicks (Marie and Jess) is the one to aim for ~ love at first sight, no turning back, boom.💥
2. Risky Business. It’s sort of a stretch, but I saw this movie alone in Chicago during a time I had a crush on a guy in my computer class. After I watched it, and received the “sometimes you have to say what the fuck” message, I acted more assertively toward the guy. Of course, the ensuing drama was to my detriment and I ended up moving to California not going to Princeton. 🙄
3. Mystery flick. Saw this with my mommy around 1970 in the theater. It was some kind of sci-fi disaster story about people who had survived an apocalyptic event and were stranded out on a rocky ledge of land. Or they might have been prehistoric peeps. Either way, they believed blond hair was evil and they had to cover it with black goo to avert more catastrophe. Then there was a giant tsunami anyway. This made me scared of water and that has informed my writing. Anyone know the name of this movie? 🌊
4. Candyman. Impossibly scary. Omg 🐝! And it turns out I am allergic to bees and wasps. Was hospitalized for shock after a sting. Gahhh!
5. Analyze This! Hilarious flick which set me up to love The Sopranos. Before AT, the only mob movie I liked was Goodfellas, but now I pretty much enjoy them all. 😀
6. Doctor Zhivago. Life sucks and then you die, even if you’re rich. So, if you have a choice, don’t live somewhere hideously cold like Siberia or Chicago. ❄️
7. The Devil Wears Prada. 👠 You’re not too good to work at a fashion mag even if you have a snooty journalism degree. That’s all.
8. Life of Pi. 🐯 It’s a great storytelling gift to narrate a tale inside a tale such that the audience forgets that’s what is happening, and the narrator could be unreliable. At the end, we are asked to do a bit of work and figure out what to believe; we are never told. This interests me greatly and I have tried to write in a similar style at times.
9. Alex & Emma. You can overcome writer’s block when there are mafia enforcers after you and your publisher refuses to pay until you produce. Good to know! 😂
10. You’ve Got Mail. 💌 I learned that in fiction you can meet your soulmate, lie about your identity, deceive your current partner… and the happily ever after will still materialize. For a long time I thought this could translate to real life, so it did influence me because it seemed perfect and romantic not cheap and creepy like it actually is, but I finally realized that all this stuff is best left on the page or screen.
There are a zillion movies I love but would not include on this list because they haven’t influenced me. Musicals, forex, and most romantic comedies. Most dramas and mysteries, however enjoyable, haven’t done anything to change my POV. I chose the above films carefully, only listing those that actually have had a lasting effect on me in some way.
What are your 10?
PS: I just realized 3 of these movies were directed by Rob Reiner! I’ve been way too influenced by the meathead! 😂😂😂