A Movie That Makes You Really Happy
I didn’t want to cheat on this one like I did on day one, so I was struggling between two films that really make me happy. The Princess Bride and Blazing Saddles. However in my wrestling between these two choices, I realized that each of these films makes me happy for a different reason. Looking deeper, I found that I have at least two categories that I use to classify happy movies, those that are ridiculously funny and those that are heartwarming. Therefore, I’m not cheating by putting forward a selection for each of these types.
If we’re going off of pure funniness, then the winner would be Blazing Saddles. I must admit that I saw this movie at much too young an age. I was a latch-key kid, spending several hours alone at home every night after school before my Mom and Dad got home from work. That gave me time to explore my parent’s collection of films. I probably saw this before I turned 12, but growing up in a town that is still to this day visibly divided by the railroad tracks, I understood the racial dynamic. I probably shouldn’t have been allowed to see it till High School, but I don’t think I was irreparably damaged. This is one of those films that has entered my vocabulary, one that my dad and I quote back and forth… “What’s a dashing urbanite like you doing in a rustic setting like this?”… “They darker than us!”… “Oh, lordy, lord, he’s desperate! Do what he sayyyy, do what he sayyyy!” Even though this film contains innumerable racial slurs, I think the point (if it has a point) is really about racial equality. The film is also quick to make references to other films and actors to make some of its gags. And since this was one of the few comedies in that home video library, I would watch it over and over again and was forced to do research on some of the jokes (Hedy Lamar, Randolph Scott, Cecil B. DeMille). Because of that, I owe a great deal of my love for film to this movie because it started me digging into the film industry.
Standing in stark distinction to Blazing Saddles, I didn’t see The Princess Bride until I was in college. It is a movie that my kids have already seen and is also tremendously quotable. It has everything; action, adventure, humor, pirates, torture, and of course, true love. Cary Elwes delivers the most outstanding performance of his career as Westley, the love-struck servant to Buttercup (Robin Wright), a beautiful woman living in a misty romantic fantasy world. She also gives one of the best performances of her career in her film debut here as Princess Buttercup. The thing that makes this movie so great is the quality of comedy relief of the entire supporting cast. Wallace Shawn is absolutely hilarious as Vizzini, the bonehead villain who is completely convinced that he has the whole world figured out, Andre the Giant delivers a lumbering but highly impressive performance as Vizzini’s enormous, idiot sidekick, and my personal favorite, Mandy Patinkin creates one of the most entertaining and likeable characters to ever see the screen. “My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!”
What movies make you happy, however you define that? What do you think is the funniest movie you’ve seen? Leave me some comment love below, or on Facebook or Twitter. This is all more fun when you join the discussion. And if you decide to take the challenge, let me know so I can follow your choices.