Hello everybody! So it’s officially August, and in recognition of that, I’ve decided to post something a little different to what I usually post. Ordinarily, this blog is a book-haven, but I felt like talking about something different today – MOVIES! So, without further ado, here are my top 10 favourite movies EVER!
10) The Riot Club (2014)
Two first-year students at Oxford University join a secret society and learn that their reputations can be made or destroyed over the course of one evening.
Consisting of a star-studded cast, an aristocratic setting, and a thrilling plot line, The Riot Club takes you on a journey. For the first half of the film, you’re just like the students – in awe of Oxford University. But as the film progresses, a darker side to patrician education comes to light. Suddenly we’re exposed to the high-class opinions never voiced outside the elite’s stately homes. We witness the extent at which the privileged will go to with the assumption that money will save them, as it always has in the past. This film is great if you love thrillers that aren’t quite so basic as a stalker, or a murderer; The Riot Club is much more complex than that.
9) The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
One year after their previous adventure, the Pevensie children return to the magical land of Narnia and find that 1300 years have passed there. War has come to Narnia once again, and the children join forces with Prince Caspian to overthrow the evil King Miraz and restore peace to the land.
This one is much more of a childhood-based love. The Chronicles of Narnia were my favourite childhood book series as well as film franchise. I loved the idea that children could escape to a new world through the back of a wardrobe, and I spent a lot of time in my wardrobe trying to recreate it! Prince Caspian, though, was always my favourite of the films, for so many reasons. I loved the idea that so much time had passed in Narnia, when only a year had passed in England. I loved the search for Aslan, the Snow Queen’s new look, and the whole plot surrounding Caspian X. It all seemed very real to me, and very possible. I love(d) the complexities of each sibling, and the fact that Peter and Susan were destined to grow up, despite never wanting to leave Narnia, and the betrayal Edmund always finds himself committing. I loved the film as a whole, and it brought a more mature feeling to the Pevensie siblings who were mere children in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and are lacking wanderlust in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
8) Clueless (1995)
Shallow, rich and socially successful Cher is at the top of her Beverly Hills high school’s pecking scale when she decides to give hopelessly klutzy new student Tai a makeover. When Tai becomes more popular than she is, Cher realizes that her disapproving ex-stepbrother was right about how misguided she was – and falls for him.
The fashion, the comedy, the storyline – the 3 main alluring factors of this film. It’s set in an era just before the internet hit, just before modern mobiles, and just as the big fashions we still recreate today were coming in. Cher is relatable, funny, and fashionable, and my favourite part of this movie, for her character development transforms her from ‘shallow’ to caring, lonely to loved, and fashion obsessed to, well, less obviously fashion obsessed. This film is a perfect chick flick, and coming-of-age comedy that I could watch hundreds of times without getting sick of.
7) The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
Socially awkward teen Charlie is a wallflower, always watching life from the sidelines, until two charismatic students become his mentors. Free-spirited Sam and her stepbrother Patrick help Charlie discover the joys of friendship, first love, music and more, while a teacher sparks Charlie’s dreams of becoming a writer. However, as his new friends prepare to leave for college, Charlie’s inner sadness threatens to shatter his newfound confidence.
In which my favourite novel comes to life, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age film of love, longing, and woe. Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller protray their characters of Charlie, Sam and Patrick, respectively, so effortlessly well, it’s as if the roles were made for them, and the ambivalence of the novel shines through in the film so perfectly, as well. This is probably my favourite film adaptation of all time, which is probably due to the author of the book – Stephen Chbosky – directing the movie himself. But I love the idea that – for once – a movie takes place from an outsider’s perspective.
6) Grease (1978)
When wholesome good girl Sandy and greaser renegade Danny fall in love over the summer, they never expect to see each other again. But when they both discover that they’re now attending the same high school, social differences challenge their romance.
Grease is the word, is the word, is the word…Who doesn’t love this movie? Whether it’s your all time favourite or your guilty pleasure, I haven’t met a single person who saw Grease and didn’t like it at least a smidge. When it was primarily released, this film was set a long time ago (released in 1978, set in 1959), but take a look at it now! I love diving into the past, exploring common teenage fashions, habits, and average time-passers. The era of the 50s was a haven for American teens – we’re talking diners emblazoned in red and white checks, open top cars, leather jackets, and big puffy skirts. If I had to choose a time to grow up in, it would be this one, which is why this movie appeals to me so much. I’ve been watching this film ever since I was a child, and with each viewing I enjoy it a little bit more, and a little bit more.
WE’RE ENTERING THE TOP 5!
5) Bandslam (2009)
A gifted singer/songwriter, Charlotte hires Will Burton, a new guy in town, to manage her fledgling rock band. She wants one thing from him: to help her win a contest against her ex-boyfriend in an upcoming battle of the bands. Charlotte’s band comes together and seems to have a real shot at victory, while Will and dynamic guitarist Sa5m begin to make some beautiful music of their own.
Another childhood favourite, Bandslam was released when I was 9 years old, and I have loved it ever since. I remember getting the DVD for Christmas, and thinking it was going to be just like High School Musical because Vanessa Hudgens was in it, but God was I wrong. Bandslam is another story of outcasts, but Will Burton’s story is both sad and sweet. We see him flourish from a lonely boy who’s hated due to his father’s crimes into a an extrovert who has a long list of friends as well as an email from David Bowie. I love the incorporation of humour, and the relationship between Will and his mother, as well as the soundtrack, which is still one of my favourites to this day. I loved Bandslam back in 2009, and I still love it unconditionally today.
4) LOL (2012)
In a world where connections via Facebook, Twitter and other social media networks are the norm, high-school student Lola is trying to navigate her way through the usual teen pressures of romance, friendship and overprotective parents. Broken-hearted by a break-up with her boyfriend, Lola’s world turns upside-down when she realizes that her best friend, Kyle, could actually be the love of her life.
This film is the love of my life. It makes me so happy when I’m watching it, and Miley Cyrus is so good in it! This is also the second time Douglas Booth has appeared on this list. Coninsidence? Probably not…
Yet another coming-of-age film (are we sensing a pattern yet?) LOL follows Lola through her senior year of high school as a virgin, coming to terms with the breakup with her boyfriend, and complications relating to falling in love with her best friend. (Douglas Booth *swoon*.) I actually just watched LOL last night after watching Step Up Revolution (which would probably make number 11 on this list), and I felt like watching more of Adam Sevani, and I knew he was in LOL, so I thought why not? Then I was reminded how much I actually adore this film, and was inspired to write this post. So gee, thanks Adam Sevani! You rock! (He actually does, I think I’m in love with him…)
3) Stuck In Love (2012)
Meet the Borgens. William Borgens is an acclaimed author who hasn’t written a word since his ex-wife Erica left him 3 years ago for another man and is dealing with the complexities of raising his teenage children Samantha and Rusty. Samantha is publishing her first novel and is determined to avoid love at all costs. Rusty, is an aspiring fantasy writer and Stephen King aficionado, who is on a quest to gain ‘life experiences’. A tale of family, love (lost and found), and how endings can make new beginnings. There are no rewrites in life, only second chances.
The second film on the list starring Logan Lerman (probably not a coincidence, either), Stuck In Love is a highly underrated film that deals with many touching issues: adultery, drug abuse, and simple loneliness to name a few. I love this film not because it contains so many life lessons, not because it’s funny, and not because it’s cyclical (although I do like that a lot), but because of the attention it brings to, and the importance it gives to writing. Samantha and Rusty are brought up by Bill, an acclaimed author, who encourages his children to write from a young age, even paying them to do so, so as to prevent any time wasted working that could be spend writing a novel. And it works – Samantha becomes an author, and it’s hinted that Rusty follows in her footsteps soon after. And I love that. It’s so rare that a film explores actually following in the footsteps of your parents due to the hobbies they forced on you as a child, and enjoying it.
2) The Breakfast Club (1985)
Five high school students from different walks of life endure a Saturday detention under a power-hungry principal. The disparate group includes rebel John, princess Claire, outcast Allison, brainy Brian, and Andrew, the jock. Each has a chance to tell his or her story, making the others see them a little differently – and when the day ends, they question whether school will ever be the same.
Whilst still a club, this film is very different to The Riot Club, but is another coming-of-age film, like a lot of my previous choices. It also happens to be quite dated, like Clueless and Grease, but that adds to the joy of it, in my opinion. We’ve all felt like these kids before. We all fit into one of their categories. And we’ve all made friends outside of school time who we don’t talk to during school. It may be for popularity reasons, it may be their choice, or it may simply be because you like the separation. I know I personally like to keep things separate. I’m not the same at school as I am at home, for example. This film empathises with that side of us – the side that isn’t sure, the side that feels left out, and the side that splits into even more sides.
Most of all, I enjoy the simplicity of this film. No special effects, no crazy sets, no gimmicks; The Breakfast Club is raw teenage emotion, unadulterated, commonplace, and – more importantly – understandable.
1) Easy A (2010)
Prompted by her popular best friend to spill details of her boring weekend, Olive, a clean-cut teen, decides to spice things up by telling a little lie about losing her virginity. When the high-school busybody overhears the conversation and spreads it all over campus, Olive is suddenly notorious but for the wrong reasons.
Yep, that’s right, Easy A is my favourite movie of all time! It incorporates the droll, dry humour of Emma Stone with a multitude of my favourite love stories from the 80s. I love the premise behind this film: I love that the good-girl becomes a slut instead of the other way around; I love that the film focusses on the girl finding herself, rather than the guy finding the girl; I love that the story has a happy ending; I love Stanley Tucci. It’s difficult to explain why you love things, I find, but I think if a film makes you laugh when you’re on the verge of crying, you have reason to love it. And that’s my ultimate reason for sure.
Thank you for reading – you’re a trooper if you got through all of this! If you see this, comment below your favourite movie of all time!
Until next time, Olivia