23 Years, 23 Movies: Part One

The past couple of years, I've marked my birthday by making lists like "21 Things to Do Before 22". But since I never managed to accomplish any of those lists (my priorities change a lot, okay?), I decided instead of looking forward for this birthday, I would look back on my life.

Remember that time on Gilmore Girls, when Lane made a playlist for Lorelei's birthday party featuring a song for every year she was alive? Of course you do. I thought I would attempt something like that, but since I'm not much of a music fanatic, I'm going to do My Life in Movies!

I chose movies that are some of my favorites, of course, and if there was more than one good movie for a year (1995, 1999, 2005 & 2006 were particularly full of options!) I chose the movie that was the biggest part of my life at the time, since this is the movies of my life!

1989: The Little MermaidI obviously didn't see this particular movie when it was released in 1989, since I was only out-of-womb for the last 2 months of 1989. I probably didn't even see it when I was a youngin' as we never owned any Disney movies in our home (I lived such a deprived childhood!) Does anyone ever remember the first time they saw a Disney movie, anyway? Those are all the movies that we seem to just have known our entire life, like we're all just born with the vague memory of them until we watch them when we're older and delight in the childhood memories and sing along with them. Hmm... tangent, much, Tish?
Well, despite when it was released, The Little Mermaid (and Ariel's red hair) has been one of my favorites throughout the years. After analyzing my favorite Disney princess movies later in life, I came to the conclusion that the reason my favorites (The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast) were my favorites were because they had more of a story between our heroine and her true love. The early movies (Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty) only had a brief meeting of the two at the beginning and then he just shows up at the end to kiss her and live happily ever after. I mean, really? Is that what little girls were taught to think true love means? Disney finally got its act together and started giving their lovers more time to get to know each other before "true love's first kiss", which gives the movies a much more entertaining story than a girl living alone in the woods.

1990: Edward Scissorhands
I wasn't introduced to Edward Scissorhands, and Tim Burton in general, until friends exposed me to it in high school. I particularly loved this Tim Burton movie for the contrast of dark, creepy Edward in the pastel, sunny, suburban neighborhood and people. It's one thing to make an overall creepy movie, but I think sticking a horror movie creature in this happy, well-lit, perfectly groomed world is what makes Edward Scissorhands stand out.

1991: The Addams Family
Wednesday Addams, you're my soul sister. I feel you, girl. Wednesday's deadpan attitude and little goth girl wardrobe made her a bit of a role model. I can remember absolutely delighting in the Addams family's weirdness. They liked things that everyone else thought were scary, disgusting, or just plain wrong. Since I was a kid, I've reveled in liking things that no one else liked. (I still love to stroll through cemeteries.) I loved catching an Addams Family movie on TV and watching The New Addams Family TV show all day. Weird is just right up my ally.

1992: Sister Act
I haven't seen this movie in a really long time, guys. But I remember that I loved it. Whoopi Goldberg gettin' all spirited and jammin' with the nuns. It's musical, it's funny. Good times. (I really need to watch it again soon.)

1993: Hocus Pocus
I just watched this movie, of course, as it is that magical time of year! Everyone has seen this movie, right? I assume that all these old movies that I remember from my childhood must have been played on TV a lot otherwise I wouldn't have seen them. I guessing some channel would play this every year around Halloween. I watch it every year and I never get sick of it. I love their witch outfits, the cute story, the fun adventure. It's just not Halloween without a little Hocus Pocus, right?

1994: Only You
A friend put on this movie once at her house and I went "Oh my god, I know this movie!". I guess I must have seen it on TV once upon a time. Since then, I've enjoyed this movie for it's beautiful Italian views, a young Robert Downey Jr., and the classic they-hate-each-other-until-they-realize-they-love-each-other love story. Oh, and to cringe at the horrible 90's fashions. Eek.

1995: Clueless
I think Clueless was an important movie for every girl in the 90's. Whether you were a kid, like I was, looking up to teenagers because they were just so cool and you couldn't wait to be one or you were a teenager idolizing the Beverly Hills lifestyle, Cher and Dion became our new role models. Clueless was pretty influential on my young mind, mostly just the fashion. But I think it's important that I point out that I wanted to coordinate dresses with my BFF only for about a month, and then I was over it- back to being weird Tish.

1996: The Craft
Another 90's teen movie that I remember influencing me as a kid. But this one stuck with me more as I became more obsessed with it when I was in grade 9 and wanted to wear all black and white and be a badass bitch like Nancy walking down the school halls. It's aesthetically the opposite of Clueless, and yet the same in many ways. The group of girls accepting the new girl and giving her a "makeover", the girl power, the mistakes and lessons....

1997: Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
I came across several other movies I could have chosen for this year, but I stuck with Austin Powers because as far as "movies of my life", this one was the most significant (of this year). I can forever blame Mike Meyers for giving me the sense of humor of an immature boy laughing at poop and penis jokes because of this movie. This is really the only big comedy movie I remember seeing at quite a young age, and I think it truly formed my sense of what to find funny. Because I still think Mike Meyers' stupid gags are funny. Even though I know they're stupid...

1998: Practical Magic
Another witchy movie that I clinged to growing up, and on into teenagerdom. I was so jealous of these girls who got to grow up with magic, cast spells, and have powers. As with a lot of movies with two opposite main characters, I identified more with one, but wished I was more like the other. Of course, I'm more like boring Sally with her brown hair and her "normal" life, but I wanted to be adventurous and wild like Jilly. She traveled, met interesting people, shacked up with hot men, partied all day- what a life! I also envied their deep sister bond. I think growing up, I was always looking for that one true BFF-soul-sister that I could always count on like this.

1999: Girl, Interrupted
If you ask me to name just one favorite movie, this title comes to mind first. For my formative years, this movie was my ultimate guide to life, inspiration, every thing I wanted to be. Ya, basically for a long time I thought a mental institution was the way to go. You get to just hang out and be as weird as you want and not have a job or any responsibilities. Seemed like a sweet deal. I also really identified with the main character, Susanna, who was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. And, at the same time, I wished I was more like sociopath Lisa. This movie started my interest in psychology, mental disorders, and convincing myself I had some sort of personality disorder. I also got the book that this movie was based on, and delved even further into the real life story of Susanna's time in the loony bin. While the movie tells a good story, and gives us a look into each character's mind, the book gives a good explanation of what it was really like inside her head while she was dealing with her "craziness". I've watched this movie so many times that I have it completely memorized and can't watch it anymore. :(

2000: Dude, Where's My Car?
This is an example of my low standard of comedy in my younger days. I can remember watching a lot of "guy-funny" movies when I was younger that I now despise. (ie. American Pie, Road Trip, etc.) But this one I still find pretty funny. "Zoltan!"

2001: Moulin Rouge!
Oh, my goodness. One of my favorite movies ever. One of the best movies ever. Epic. Beautiful. Magical. Sigh... I want to watch it right now just thinking about it! I can remember "discovering" this movie in high school and making everyone watch it when they would come over because I thought it was just the most amazing thing ever. The closing credits song "Bolero" is 8 minutes of glorious musical magic, that I've listened to countless times. One of my favorite songs ever. An epic masterpiece. The movie. The music. Sigh...

This seems like a good place to stop. Half way through life so far and also the year that my family moved across the province and I had to make new friends to watch movies with.

Click here for Part 2 of my life in movies in which I really begin my movie obsession, learn how to download movies, and discover some of my favorite filmmakers.