I don’t know about you, but I’m not feeling 22. I’m 26, I’m sweaty AF, and it’s currently the most brutal portion of NYC summer heat. After three showers per day last weekend alone, I’m calling it quits. On what? I can’t specify. But, I’m over it. ALL OF IT. Regularly sweating from places unknown has left me longing for a pool (duh) and a need to spend my Friday and Saturday nights with close proximity to an AC junit (that’s unit with a Spanish accent). Where was I? Right, movies!
With at least another month of 100% humidity ahead, there’s no better time than the present to catch up on the essentials from the comfort of the indoors. In my wildest dreams, I never even thought there were millennials out there who had yet to see these classics. Much to my surprise while visiting my LA friends this summer, they had never even heard of majority of this list, thus here I am. Mind you, my definition of the classics may differentiate from say, the Academy, but that’s neither here nor there. You say tomato, I say potato (shout out ALI G).
As one of this generation’s most prolific self-proclaimed film experts, below I present to you some of the greatest cinematic masterpieces of the late 20th/21st century (in no particular order).
1. HEAVYWEIGHTS (1995)
- STARRING: Ben Stiller, Kenan Thompson, Paul Feig, Jeffrey Tambor, Ben Stiller’s parents (RIP Anne Meara) and no one else matters.
- WORTH NOTING: Judd Apatow co-wrote & executive produced.
- BECAUSE: Fat camp, Perkis Power, Lars, the Buddy System, Kenan in his prime, and the fact that I even have to explain this movie to someone makes me upset so that’s all you get.
2. MAJOR PAYNE (1995)
- STARRING: Damon Wayans as Major Payne, OMG lil Orlando Brown as Tiger (aka Eddie on That’s So Raven), and the iconic Chris Owen (as a child, aka Shermanator from American Pie), and no one else matters.
- WORTH NOTING: How I learned what ROTC stands for, and the tagline for the movie is
“He’s looking for a few good men… or a few guys old enough to shave.”
- BECAUSE: This movie GUARANTEES the LOLS. I smile just thinking about it. Choo, choo.
3. HEAD OVER HEELS (2001)
- STARRING: HOT YOUNG Freddie Prinze, Jr. and a beautiful, young(er) Monica Potter (Parenthood), and no one else matters.
- WORTH NOTING: Directed by Mark Waters (Dir. of Freaky Friday, but more notably Mean Girls), set in NYC (where all the best movies take place), Alfredo is the name of the bad guy, and my love for the Russian accent stems from Roxana, the Russian model
- BECAUSE: Quintessential romcom, Monica Potter in a SICK apartment with hilarious models…and why I often quote “don’t forget to turn them on the headlights.”
4. CARPOOL (1996)
- STARRING: Lil smokin 90’s goddess Rachael Leigh Cook, Tom Arnold, Rhea Perlman, and DRUMROLE please…Froggy from The Little Rascals in a shower cap for the whole movie, and no one else matters.
- WORTH NOTING: Tom Arnold scares me and continues to scare me but that has never stopped my love for this brilliance.
- BECAUSE: Everyone remembers their childhood carpool group, but this one is the MOST epic in existence. IMDB has an excellent synopsis, “a nice but goofy man takes a busy distant father and his two children plus the three they carpool hostage.”
5. LLOYD (2001)
*fan-made trailer, amazing
- STARRING: THE ONE, THE ONLY TODD F**KING BOSLEY & other actors….
- WORTH NOTING: Discovered this film on STARZ in 6th grade and never looked back, had it on VHS shortly after the first viewing, and you can watch the entire movie in parts on YouTube.
- BECAUSE: The story of a triumphant nerd who at one point in this film salsa dances to serenade the girl of his dreams in her front yard (it’s not her yard), LA PRIMERA DE LA NOCHE!
6. SUMMER CATCH (2001)
- STARRING: Freddie Prinze, Jr. (duh), Jessica Biel, Brittany Murphy (RIP), Matthew Lillard, Wilder Valderrama, Gabriel Mann (Nolan from Revenge), Beverly D’Angelo (aka Mrs. Griswald) and the list goes on…
- WORTH NOTING: From the brilliant Tollin/Robbins producing team that brought us One Tree Hill, What I Like About You, The Amanda Show, Kenan & Kel, Good Burger etc. PRAISE.
- BECAUSE: Greatest summer romcom of early 2000’s – ft. baseball, FPJ, a guy who prefers fat women, and the classic rich girl likes poor boy who turns out to be a WINNER.
7. GET OVER IT (2001)
- STARRING: “Thong Song” famous Sisqo, Kirsten Dunst, Ben Foster, Shane West, Colin Hanks, Zoe Saldana, Mila Kunis, Martin Short, Vitamin C, Carmen Electra, need I say more?
- WORTH NOTING: The tagline is “Get Dumped. Get Pumped. Get Even.” Not sure about the pump part because it’s about a high school theatre production, but I’ll take it.
- BECAUSE: Don’t ever read reviews of this teen flick because h8ers just don’t understand.
8. WHATEVER IT TAKES (2000)
- STARRING: The one, the only, the apple of my eye James Franco, Shane West (obvi), Marla Sokoloff (Gia from Full House, the OG high school bitch), Aaron Paul, Colin Hanks (again), and Taylor Vaughan from She’s All That (irrelevant real name).
- WORTH NOTING: Written by Mark Schwahn who brought us One Tree Hill and most recently, The Royals – that says it all right there. Ok bye.
- BECAUSE: I shouldn’t have to sell anyone on why you need to watch this.
9. ONE FINE DAY (1996)
- STARRING: Besides the obvious George Clooney & Michelle Pfeiffer, this movie is all about Mae Whitman (my fav) & Alex D. Linz (hands down hottest child star – Max Keeble’s Big Move, Home Alone 3, Full Court Miracle, The Jennie Project) Alex if you ever see this article, HMU.
- WORTH NOTING: Set in NYC (where all the best movies take place).
- BECAUSE: Banking on my life mirroring this movie, yes that means George leaves Amal in 10 years but hasn’t aged a day.
10. JACK (1996)
TRAILER (because it won’t let me embed it WHATEVER)
- STARRING: Robin Williams, Diane Lane, Jennifer Lopez (not a typo), Bill Cosby (before we knew the truth), Fran Drescher, TODD BOSLEY, Jurnee Smollett (family of child actors, brother on Empire, they have a cooking show now on Food Network).
- WORTH NOTING: Out of all the movies on this list, I hold this one closest to my heart. Not for the reason that Robin is gone and he is my all time fave actor or that Diane Lane is my all time fave actress, but this is one of Robin’s best career performances.
- BECAUSE: THIS IS DIRECTED BY FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA, NO JOKE.
Note: there are many, many more classics missing from this list (The First Wives Club), so please don’t think I didn’t write Mrs. Doubtfire as my favorite movie on my USC film school app, which is probably one of the reasons I did not get in.