- Grease. I think that was the first taped-off-the-telly movie that my sister and I wore out with repeats, watching it every day if we could. Wasn’t sure what Rizzo’s problem was, didn’t know why Frenchie could quit school (are they allowed to do that in America where they also can wear whatever they want to high school every day?!!), thought Sandy was prettier when she was square, could not for the life of me understand why they wrapped Grease Lightning with a giant roll of cling film – didn’t get it at age 7, basically, but I loved it.
- No, wait, the first taped-off-the-telly-movie we wore out was the Sound of Music. Mum used to sit on the edge of her chair in the scene where Captain Von Trapp waltzes with Maria. I thought ‘16 Going On 17’ much more romantic, but I was a fool, I have subsequently learned on yet another round of rewatching as an adult. CvT is the business.
- ROMEO+JULIET. I can hear any song off that sound track and my heart basically stops in its tracks, thinking about Leonardo DiCaprio. Infinitely cooler than how I felt about Titanic (3x at the movies, people. I suspect I believed Jack was real and that the ending might change next time around). I think I learned what love/obsession/drugs were by watching and rewatching R+J. Mrs Grewal in fourth form English used it for our Shakespeare study. She was a bloody genius. All the girls in the classroom were rapt, mouthing along with the best bits and the sound track. Jesus, Leo through the fishtank. If you were around 14 in 1996, female and had access to a movie theatre, I think you know what I’m saying.
- The BBC’s 1995 Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. I discovered this at about 15 or 16 and quickly wore off Leo, let me tell you. I think I thought I was a modern day Elizabeth Bennet and could not wait to say I was not yet one and twenty. I have this on both VHS and DVD, as well as the Keira Knightley version (Matthew McAvoy, you’re alright, but I basically watch it to bitch about how it’s not the same as the book.)
- Die Hard. My sister and I discovered the glory on a lazy weekend (both of us love Alan Rickman which likely drew us in) and were yelling Yippee-Ki-Yay Mother Fucker and bursting into hysterical giggles for WEEKS. My parents were, I think, both horrified and secretly proud. I still feel like the first three Die Hards are the ultimate movies to watch at Christmas. Is that weird?
- Anything with Liam Neeson. And I’m not just talking about Rob Roy or Love, Actually. Sadly, I have seen and enjoyed Taken, Taken 2 and The Grey which tells you something about my twisted little mind. I suspect he’s the best action star of all time (Bruce is second. Die Hard 4 really jumped the shark.)
Anyway, there are more v intellectual movies in my catalogue of films what I adore (ha. Do Ghost or Ghostbusters count as intellectual? What about Spaceballs?), but the above are probably the extent of the ones I feel obsessive about. Most of them are the result of being a ghastly yet probably your average middle class teenager: it was a time of bad poetry and horrendous, compulsive adoration.