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I guess I just like liking things

"Really? A list about my movies?  Really?"

“Really? A list about my movies? Really?”

This list is inspired by a recent viewing of Say Anything… My wife had never seen it and I found the Blu-Ray for $5 at Target with the intention of rewatching. See – and here’s a terrible confession – I didn’t remember liking it all that much.  I know, right? That’s like a cardinal sin in movie fandom. It’s like not liking kittens or chocolate or baseball… and I should probably admit that I don’t really like baseball all that much, either.

…and that probably explains why Eight Men Out didn’t make the following list. Although I do tend to like baseball movies more than I like baseball, a phenomenon I don’t completely understand. And it was a pretty good movie, it just didn’t make my top ten. After seeing my top ten, you’re probably going to ragequit the site because some of these others came in ahead of it, but as I always say: I accept guest columns.

Here are my favorite John Cusack movies.  A list of Joan Cusack movies would probably look very similar.

10. Serendipity (2001) – I don’t have any explanation as to why I like this movie so much. Sappy love stories aren’t usually my thing, but here we are.

9. America’s Sweethearts (2000) – There are a ton of great actors in this one, and it’s a somewhat-satirical take on things the whole fame thing.

8. Bullets Over Broadway (1994) – Okay, here’s the weirdest entry on the list. I don’t remember anything about this movie at all, other than the fact that I liked it a lot. And the “really liked it” checkmark it has in my brain’s movie list supercedes the two prior movies, even though I remember them both rather well.  I can’t explain it, all I know is that my brain says it goes here at #8 and that I need to see it again some time.

7. Identity (2003) – I suspect this is a movie I wouldn’t like as well if I saw it again, but I really enjoyed the horror/thriller business going on with it at the time.

6. High Fidelity (1999) – I didn’t like this one at first. I expected it to be more like Grosse Pointe Blank and it wasn’t really. I know that’s a weird thing to say about a movie, but it played a part in my initial viewing. You’ll understand that more later in the list, but I did enjoy this movie upon second viewing. I don’t have the music background needed to completely “get” it all, but I started getting it more as time went on.

5. Con Air (1997) – More of a Nic Cage movie than a John Cusack movie, but this one is crazygonuts fun and I’m including it.

4. Being John Malkovich (1999) – When this movie was done the first time, I couldn’t really process what I had just seen. I mean, I understood it and followed along just fine, I mean I don’t get how a movie like this ever got made.  But I”m glad it did because it’s a special kind of weird and I love it.

3. Say Anything… (1989) – Five years ago this would’ve been lower on the list, maybe even off it. But the recent re-watch helped me see the charm. I didn’t remember a lot of it (like, the whole Mr. Court subplot), and I still have some issues with it, but I liked it a lot more than I expected to.

2. Better Off Dead… (1985) – For a long, long time this was #1. It saddens me to hear that John strongly dislikes this movie, but I have to be honest and say that I don’t know that John and I would agree on much in real life, so I guess it doesn’t matter. I can still enjoy this movie without his blessing… unless he gets to a point where he has enough power to recall every copy of it ever and have it destroyed, I suppose. That would suck. This is the movie that made most people fans of John Cusack, I think. Even more than Say Anything…

1. Grosse Pointe Blank (1996) – This isn’t just my favorite Cusack movie, it might just be in my Top 3 of All Time. The mixture of the assassination hijinks with a high school reunion and a guy reassessing his whole life, all done with a very particular type of patter and wit really resonates with me. I love the interaction between Cusack and Driver, and Dan Ackroyd’s nasty side is nasty indeed. I absolutely love this movie.

Didn’t quite make the list but I like these movies, too:

  • Pushing Tin (1999)
  • The Grifters (1989)
  • Eight Men Out (1988)
  • Tapeheads (1987) – Very, very odd, but still mostly likable
  • One Crazy Summer (1986)
  • Stand by Me (1985)
  • The Sure Thing (1984)
  • Sixteen Candles (1984)


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