At The Movies

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Until ‘Midnight in Paris’ came out two years ago, I reveled in being able to tell people my top three favorite movies all started with the same letter: ‘Clue,’ ‘Closer,’ ‘Cinema Paradiso’. It had an agreeable ring to it, not that I’m blaming ‘Midnight in Paris’ for anything. I feel like I’ve inundated you with references to that movie, so it’s high time to share my original three favorites.

First up: ‘Closer.’ Starring Jude Law, Julia Roberts, Clive Owen, and Natalie Portman, who is so young and captivating and breathtaking in this movie it’s alarming. Have you seen it? Director Mike Nichols adapted the script from play of the same name by Patrick Marber. It focuses around two nebulous couples in London, who fall in love, cheat, break each other’s hearts, lie, curse, and generally make you hate them and life in one fell swoop. The men are English and the women are American, the conversations are real and honest and raw and painful, and if you’re not feeling emotionally bruised by the end of it, you weren’t paying attention. My friend Lyndsey confiscated my copy after a breakup many years ago, but I’ve since bought another one. Sometimes you just need a swift kick in the stomach from a movie (you know, when you’re wallowing in a particularly self-loathing state).

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I won’t spoil it with plot points for you, but there is some amazing dialogue in ‘Closer.’

Dan: I fell in love with her, Alice.

Alice: Oh, as if you had no choice? There’s a moment, there’s always a moment, “I can do this, I can give into this, or I can resist it”, and I don’t know when your moment was, but I bet you there was one.

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Dan: You think love is simple. You think the heart is like a diagram.

Larry: Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist, wrapped in blood. Go fuck yourself, you writer! You liar!

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Jude Law is slimy and terrible, Julia Roberts is an absolute mess, Clive Owen seems to be the only character aware of how awful he is to others, and the only person you end up feeling remotely sorry for is Natalie Portman’s ingĂ©nue Alice Ayres. If you haven’t seen it, I think you better fix that immediately. Just be prepared with tissues.

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August 21, 2013 / read / watch / LEAVE A COMMENT / 13

13 comments

  • I heart that Clue is one of your favourites because it’s definitely up there on the list for me as well. How can you not love that movie and its multiple endings?!

    • Ah, you’re a fan too?!? SO exciting! Most people have never heard of it. I knew I liked you for a reason ;) xo

  • oh, closer! i saw this movie in the theater at a time when i felt like i could have been one of the characters in this movie (if they had a waaaaay less glamorous and gritty subplot or something). it hurt to watch this movie, the emotions were so real. i haven’t seen it since because it was so sad. i loved it – i thought it was so well written and acted and directed. i literally forget a movie 10 minutes after i have seen it but i still remember scenes in that movie like they are my own memories (which i actually usually forget too). oh man that is a good movie but such a gut wrencher. im going to have to watch it again.

    now clue – i think i may have to pop in my dvd of clue right now. i have loved that movie since i rented on vhs back in 1986. and i think you already know i love cinema paradiso.

    • It is such an intense, heavy movie that it really stays with you. It’s not one I’d put on when I have a free afternoon, it’s much too sad for that, but sometimes you really just get in the mood and it’s perfect. I’m so sorry that you were ever in a place where it resonated with you! Poor darling. Clue on the other hand….what an amazing movie. I love love love it. xo

  • I watched this movie with Jordan on a Sunday afternoon. After the first 10 minutes, he declared it was weird and he didn’t get it and would watch it no longer, so we turned it off – I, however, was very intrigued. I took advantage of having a sickie to watch it on my own and cried my eyes out. For anyone who has ever been cheated on, you can totally relate to all the emotional turmoil. I’m still giggling about the fact that your friend confiscated the dvd from you!

    • Haha! Oh boys. I don’t think guys like this movie in general, to give Jordan some slack. But I’m glad you still watched it! Even if it kicked the emotional crap out of you, haha. She totally took it from me! And good thing she did, I was in no place to watch it without ending up with my head in an oven. She was looking out for me for sure! xo

  • I really liked Closer too. Natalie Portman is enchanting in it. If I could define sexy in one image, it would be her in the strip club in this film. Weird, since normally I’d never put sexy and strip club in the same sentence.

    I’ve never seen Cinema Paradiso. I must watch it.

    • Ohh, that scene. I was debating including screencaps of that scene (because how can you not love her hot pink wig? Or the “Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking off her clothes” line? Incredible) but didn’t want to give too much away. I still want people who haven’t seen it to be totally caught off guard by the film. Definitely see Cinema Paradiso. It’s beautiful. xo

  • !!!!!!!!!!! This is my favorite movie. Ever. Like my number 1 favorite movie. EVAR!

    It’s hard to watch sometimes, but it’s breathtaking and beautiful, and sad but hopeful. I love it I love it I love it.

    • That’s so cool, I had no idea! And here I was thinking I was a rare breed who actually LOVED a movie this depressing! I agree that there is a fair amount of hopefulness in it too, though. xo

  • Don’t be cross but I hated closer! Really hated it! couldn’t bear any of them. But it does have three of the world’s best looking people in it (obviously not clive owen who’s rather ordinary). But the other three I could stare at all day.

    Have never heard of Clue (should I watch it?) and haven’t seen Cinema Paradiso even though i’ve been meaning to for years. Oh but you forgot the best ‘C’ film…Clueless. xx

  • Aw, thank you for reminding me how much I loved this movie. I did see it, when I used to go see movies. (Still working on Midnight in Paris. Ugh!) Annie is right, some of the best looking people are in that movie. Natalie Portman is striking. It seems strange to be so wildly attracted to art (movies, music, art, books…) that induces sadness (as I remember this movie being very dark and raw), but there you go. I’m a fan.

    • Oh, that’s it, I’m mailing you my DVD copy of Midnight in Paris. And before you object, I have a copy on BluRay, too, so this is just a spare I bought for emergencies such as this. Consider it done. I might even throw in Eats, Shoots and Leaves with it since I’ve only been promising that book to you for months!

      Dark and raw are two very good words to describe this movie. You have to be in the right mood for it, for sure. xo