Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Our Four Favorite Independent Films on Independence Day

Shelle and I watch a lot of movies.  We've accumulated a decent collection over the years, and we often borrow new favorites from friends and the library.  Overall, it's not a bad habit for broke gals to have.  Although a good movie is fun just about any time, we have a tendency to settle in with a quality movie marathon when we have the day off for a holiday.  We've already shared with you our Ten Romantic Comedies for Memorial Day Weekend, and today we present our favorite independent films on Independence Day.

Here, in no particular order, are the four we're watching this Fourth of July:

Amanda says:  Remember my love for Meryl Streep?  It totally extends to George Clooney too.  I've loved him ever since I saw reruns of that season of "The Facts of Life."  Never before had I more wished that the Eastland School was not fictional and that my parents had enough money to enroll me there.  Anyways, I thought the movie was amazing regardless of Mr. Clooney's level of perfection, and believe it was totally worthy of all of the Oscar buzz it generated.  The movie managed to seamlessly weave together several story lines while having them all connect in the end, and I'm pretty sure I felt all of the same emotions as the characters as we discovered the plot twists together.

Shelle says:  Who wouldn't like this movie? George Clooney's in it!  He's the epitome of hotness.  I really liked this movie because it had an honest quality to it.  I appreciated that it wasn't all rainbows and happiness but it was still emotional.  I also really liked the little girl - she reminded me of Lilo from "Lilo and Stitch"!  Overall it was a good movie, it surpassed my expectations and I think it should have beat out "The Artist" for the Oscars or whatever during the awards season (not that I saw "The Artist" but it's a silent film.  Come on.  Nothing beats George Clooney.)

Amanda says:  I will freely admit, the first time I watched this movie it was only because all the cool kids were doing it, and I was very confused.  I will also freely admit that the second time I watched this movie, I loved it and made plans to watch it again and again and again.  It made me think and still does, even after so many viewings.  I appreciate the non-linear way in which the story is told, and it forces me to pay attention and try to piece it all together in my head.  I will also forever wish I live nearer to an IKEA.

Shelle says:  I think I'm seeing a pattern here.  The reason I like all of these Indie movies is because they're so dark.  I would normally consider myself a happy and bubbly person so it's sort of surprising that I like these not-so-happy endings.  The reason I liked "(500) Days of Summer" is because the ending is unexpected.  After all this time, you sort of think that maybe they'll get lucky and it'll end like every other movie but it doesn't.  It leaves you feeling sad at the end and I appreciate that.  I don't think all movies should leave you with a happy emotion at the end - that's what makes them real.

Amanda says:  As cheesy as it sounds, I love the feel of this movie.  The setting and the colors and the soundtrack just meld so perfectly together it honestly makes me feel a little bit like I'm a guest at that wedding and hanging out on the ocean.  It always makes me want to get together with my group of friends from college too, even though we're not nearly as exciting or dramatic, and certainly lack the "incestuous dating history."  Even more, though, I love the ambiguity of it all.  Like the previous movies on this list, I'm left wondering whether or not I should be pleased with the ending.  It manages to make me feel the same melancholy as many of the characters, and I'll just keep watching it until I figure out whether or not that's a good thing.  Also, the scene where Candice Bergen's character wakes up in the middle of the night proclaiming that it's going to rain?  Priceless.

Shelle says:  I liked this, and it was a good movie.  I especially like how it leaves you wondering - did they get married or didn't they?  There's a part of me that hopes that Anna Paquin's character says forget you to her future husband and finds a new best friend because they clearly have some issues.  I thought the wedding was beautiful - I was a little confused by the purple bridesmaids' dresses and the coral-colored ties on the men, but I loved the setting.  I would love to get married on the ocean someday!

Amanda says:  I first saw this movie one of my first few days at college, and I will always remember how hard I laughed, even at a point in my life when I still wasn't totally certain about where I was and who I was with.  The characters in this movie are all equally memorable, as is the final scene in which the family joins each other in dancing on stage at the pageant.  If only my own dysfunctional family was this funny.

Shelle says:  How cute is Abigail Breslin in this movie?  She has a face that only me and a mother could love.  I loved the grandfather and I thought it was adorable how inspiring he was for her and how inspiring she was to him in the same sense.  It had me laughing, crying, and everything in between.  Overall, it was a great movie!

What independent films are your favorites?

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