59. Before Sunset - dir. Richard Linklater (2004)
is love, if it's not respect, trust, admiration? And I felt all those
things. So, cut to the present tense. I feel like I'm running a small
nursery with somebody I used to date."
58. The Royal Tenenbaums - dir. Wes Anderson (2001)
I know I'm gonna be the bad guy on this one. But I just wanna say the
last six days have been the best six days of probably my whole life."
57. A History of Violence - dir. David Cronenberg (2005)
"You should ask Tom...how come he's so good at killing people?"
56. Capturing the Friedmans - dir. Andrew Jarecki (2003)
"We had a middle class home, educated...where did this come from?"
55. Day Night Day Night - dir. Julia Loktev (2006)
I think that I've been noticed or there is a small chance that I may be
caught I must execute the plan immediately, even if there is no one
54. In America - dir. Jim Sheridan (2003)
"Don't 'little girl' me. I've been carrying this family on my back for over a year. He was my brother too."
53. Superbad - dir. Greg Mottola (2007)
you insane?! Look at Jules' dating record. She dated Dan Remmeck who's
had a six pack since like kindergarten. Jason Stone who looks like
fuckin' Zack Morris, and Matt Muer...he's the sweetest guy! Have you
ever stared into his eyes? It was like the first time I heard the
2000s weren't exactly replete with relatable cinematic teenage
behavior, especially where sex and sexuality are concerned. I have read
the criticisms of Superbad many times over. It's aimless, it's
vulgar, it's cartoonish in its portrayal of adolescent sexual desire.
However, it's also funny. Consistently funny from start to finish,
while peppered with truly heartfelt moments between its protagonists
Evan (Michael Cera) and Seth (Jonah Hill).
ever been a teenager, you know that the pursuit of some tail is as
honest and urgent an inciting incident for a narrative as any. People
will do strange things, often garnering reactions of head-scratching, if
there is even a chance that sex will be the end result. This is
especially true if one has never actually had sex. Is this the most
groundbreaking or profound of hypotheses? Hardly. But it's a notion
portrayed cogently, with humor and and an excellent ear for dialogue and
timing in Superbad.
Yes, one can easily bemoan the fact that such films seem to completely co-opt the teenage female perspective on one end and ignore it altogether on the other. I once wrote, on this very blog that a version of Superbad
wherein two teenage girls attempt to buy liquor for a party in order to
impress and bed boys for the sheer purpose of sexual gratification
could not exist in the current Hollywood landscape. Bridesmaids
made some strides in this arena (though I have mixed feelings about the
final result) and women are at least allowed to be funny in ways we have
rarely seen before. However, our culture seems to be vaguely
threatened by the notion of women, especially teenage girls, enjoying
sex. I mean none of this in any way as an indictment of Superbad itself, as these are all criticisms that exist completely extrinsic to the merits of the actual film.
I chose the quote listed
above, which exemplifies exactly what I'm talking about. Too often in
films, characters fail to inhabit any sort of universe that feels
specifically drawn. This problem usually stems from a lack of character
specificity in its own right. Seth and Evan are sex hungry teenage boys,
yes. But they are more than that. The scene from which the dialogue
is taken occurs fairly early on in the narrative and it shows us that
we're in incredibly capable hands with screenwriters Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen.
52. He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not - dir. Laetitia Colombani (2002)
"Though my love is insane my reason calms the pain in my heart, it tells me to be patient and keep hoping."
51. The Departed - dir. Martin Scorsese (2006)
"When I was growing up, they would say you could become cops or
criminals. But what I'm saying is this. When you're facing a loaded gun,
what's the difference?"
50. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - dir. Peter Jackson (2003)