Okay, I normally don't think about it in those terms. I usually use the deserted island scene as a backdrop for me to talk about my favorite things, like, if I were stranded on a deserted island and could only have five books with me, which ones would I choose? That kind of thing.
This past weekend, Abby and I watched the film adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest again, which is one of my very favorite movies. While watching it, I remembered the time we saw a college production of this play. Aside from the mispronunciation of Britishisms ("draughts," which should be pronounced like our American "drafts," was pronounced to rhyme with "distraught"--poor form), the play wasn't horrible, though I kept wishing I were watching the movie. Abby thought the actress who played Lady Bracknell did a good job, but I didn't think so. I realized this weekend why. I was comparing her performance to Judy Dench's. Judy Dench! Is there any comparison? The answer is clearly no.
But watching this movie got me thinking: If I were stranded on a deserted island--a deserted island that, for whatever reason, allowed me to watch movies--which five movies would I want with me? Below is my list of "island movies," along with a brief explanation of why I chose it. These aren't necessarily the movies I think are the "best," just the ones I'd want with me. (The best movie I've seen, Life Is Beautiful, I wouldn't want to watch often, maybe even ever again.) Feel free to leave your own list in the comments.
- Big Fish. I love this movie. In fact, it's probably my favorite movie. The combination of mythology and truth, along with the great performances and Tim Burton's whimsy (dialed down several notches and before he started putting Johnny Depp in everything), make this one I'd want with me on the island.
- The Importance of Being Earnest. You don't get better dialogue than Oscar Wilde, and this movie follows Wilde's play pretty closely (one of the reasons it was hard to watch the fumbling college performance). The film also takes some liberties with juxtapositions that aren't possible in plays to hilarious effect.
- Spiderman 2. In my opinion, this is the greatest superhero film of all time. (I say this because The Dark Knight didn't feel like a superhero film.) Why? Because it so accurately captures the source material. It feels like a comic book, and this even without Ang Lee's jarring framing mechanism that he used for Hulk (which, despite this, was one of the worst superhero movies--down there with X-men 3, Daredevil, and presumably Wolverine, which, thankfully, I've never seen).
- Batman: The Movie. Two superhero movies? Is that entirely necessary? Well, this one really isn't a superhero movie. This is camp at its finest, and I don't really tire of watching it. It's full of lines like, "Some days you just can't get rid of a bomb!" and "They may be drinkers, Robin, but they are still human beings, and they might be salvaged." I'll want something to cheer me up on the island, right?
- How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying. This is a way to get my music fix on the island, especially if I can't salvage any CDs from the wreckage. It's also a great movie.
That's it for my picks. Which would you choose?
***EDIT*** I suppose it is the nature of these lists to be constantly in flux. After publishing this, I remembered that one of my very favorite movies, and one that I can and probably would watch over and over again, did not make the list. This needs to be corrected. In place of How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying I would like O Brother, Where Art Thou? The soundtrack for this movie is even better than the musical, and it is a darn good movie.