With the slew of horrendous summer movies finally coming to a close, we can all breathe easier and willingly walk into movie theaters again. But do you even need to go to the theater to get action-packed, thrilling, romantic, glorious cinematic content? No ma’amsir, you do not. Go to Blockbuster and rent everything on my newest list: movies that are often overlooked despite their poignant and outstanding cinematic content:
1. White Chicks: Two down-and-out FBI CSI CIA NYPD black men have to protect two young, spoiled, blonde white women. After inevitably getting into a steamy affair with the girls, the men ponder life, love, and discover religion. Through their physical intimacy, they lead the girls on an emotional journey and teach them how to appreciate the little things in life, like sex. Since one of the men is married, and has discovered religion (what religion? All the religions!) since consummating his affair, he feels deeply guilty for betraying his wife and begins a long trek home, disguised as the white woman he plowed. This is obviously because he feels the need to literally show the world what he’s done, and the easiest way to do that is by cross-dressing and cross-ethnicitying. His fellow law enforcement black friend joins him on his journey, also disguised as the woman he slept with, to repent with him for betraying his own wife, who doesn’t exist, since he’s not married. This movie is a journey of journeys, about journey, with the entire soundtrack consisting of Journey.
2. Mad Money: Diane Keaton is a criminal mastermind out to steal the Blood Diamond. Queen Latifah, a blue collar worker in the nation’s most secure money shredding facility, starts having psychic, homo-erotic dreams about Keaton. Through a series of melodramatic coincidences, the two meet and adopt a young child, Katie Holmes. While discovering life, love, and lesbianism, the two find ways to rid themselves of their husbands and raise their child. Heavy doses of turmoil are present throughout the film. The films ends as the family climbs over the Alps into Switzerland, as “Climb Ev’ry Mountain,” remade and performed by Vanilla Ice, swells to a grand conclusion.
3. Pulse: Kristin Bell is a college student who has a brush with the underworld. She quickly learns that her psychology professor is the devil and he is going to take her soul in seven days. After offering herself to him (in the Biblical sense), he spits in her face but tells her he is in love with her. She runs away the following night and must confront her external fears (death and hell) while also battling her internal desires (romance with the devil and staying alive).
4. Norbit: Eddie Murphy makes his dramatic-role debut as both a serious man with mental disabilities and the serious man’s wife, who is exceedingly obese and unpleasant. The audience watches as the characters’ marriage falls apart. The two characters battle it out so well in the film that it’s hard to remember that Murphy is playing them both.
5. Last Holiday: Queen Latifah stars as a lonely woman dying of incurable cancer of the whole body. She travels to the country of Europe and lives her last two weeks of life in both luxury and peril. While her desperately wants to simply enjoy her lavish surroundings, she herself is dying, which causes her to develop two distinct personalities. The personalities end up killing one another within Latifah’s body and she becomes brain dead before her estimated date of death. According to Jeffrey Lyons, Last Holiday is the best spin-off of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of all time.
6. The Perfect Man: Hilary Duff is a high school student whose mother, Heather Locklear, molests and beats her while driving around the country in search of “the perfect man”. Duff plans her escape and falls in love with a Wyoming stable boy. The film ends with the two lovers riding off into the distance on horseback.
7. Beauty Shop: Queen Latifah appears yet again on this list as an up-and-coming black hairstylist who cannot fulfill her hairstyling dreams because a white man oppresses her. Similar to Crash, this Latifah film deals with modern day racism and its repercussions.
8. The Jonas Brothers Movie: This docudrama begins with a shocking* revelation. Joe Jonas, Nick Jonas, and Ugly Jonas discover simultaneously that they are all homosexual and have incestuous feelings for one another. In an avant-garde style, the entire movie takes place in one long scene. They sit in Nick’s dressing room, mentally torture themselves, and struggle with alcoholism while debating whether or not to come out of the closet. Roger Ebert called The Jonas Brothers Movie “the most daring and emotionally twisted film of 2009”.** Rated NC17 for graphic sexual content.
But honestly, none of these movies, though they are quite magnificent, will trump the movies on this awesome list.
*Shocking in the context of the movie, but in reality, no one was surprised.
**The quote is made up.