We begin with my top five favorite movies! Please keep in mind that I don't care about what society considers to be the greatest movies of all time. These are the movies I feel connected with and make think, "Why didn't I write this?!"
5) Romy and Michele's High School ReunionSee! I already warned you that I don't care what society considers to be the best. This one is the ultimate Bad Day Movie. Whenever I've had a few too many awkward interactions or have gotten mauled by a bear or whatever, I watch Romy and Michele to cheer myself up. Watching them is like watching slightly (just slightly) dumber versions of myself. They, too, love fashion. They, too, went to high school in Arizona, then moved to Los Angeles. And they, too, believe that being happy and poor is much more satisfying than being comfortable but miserable. I also admire the ability to write such a smart movie with ditzy (albeit very likable) protagonists.
Best line: "Would you excuse me? I cut my foot before and my shoe is filling up with blood. " - Romy
Best character: It's impossible to choose. I love both them bitches.
I've been pushing this movie on my friends like Ms. Norbury pushes drugs. If you call yourself a fan of Mean Girls, I absolutely implore you to see Heathers, because Mean Girls wouldn't exist without it. Heathers is like Mean Girls if all of the Plastics were killed. The humor is dark and twisty, but the ending is satisfying enough so that you don't walk away feeling all suicidal. Also, Winona Ryder and Christian Slater are freaking awesome.
Best line: "If you were happy every day of your life you wouldn't be a human being. You'd be a game-show host." - Heather Chandler
Best character: Veronica Sawyer. She's a badass.
3) When Harry Met Sally
What's surprising about this list is how few romantic comedies it includes. I think that's because for me, I need build-up and tension to be emotionally invested in fictional romantic relationships, and that's why I usually favor TV couples over movie couples. Harry and Sally are different, though. Their (spoiler alert!) eventual togetherness is so satisfying because we got to see them go from hating each other, to not remembering each other, to being friends, and then - tear - falling in love. :')
Best character: Harry and Sally are both clever and lovable bastards.
Best line: "When I buy a new book, I read the last page first. That way, in case I die before I finish, I know how it ends. That, my friend, is a dark side." - Harry
I find no movie protagonist more inspiring than Cher Horowitz, my own personal hero and mentor (other than my mom if she's reading this!), played flawlessly by Alicia Silverstone. Sure, she may be a little selfish, but Cher has high standards (which explains why the guy she initially falls for turns out to be gay), she tries to make everyone around her happy and most importantly, she dresses differently than all of those other flannel and baggy pants-adorned '90s kids. All of the apathetic hoodie-wearers who currently roam high school hallways could take a page from her book.
Best line: "Why should I listen to you, anyway? You're a virgin who can't drive." - Tai
Best character: Cher Horowitz. Duh.
1) Mean Girls
Where do I begin? I'm pretty sure Mean Girls is the most quoted movie of my generation, at least among females and gay males. With so many SNL greats in charge, it better be hilarious, but the way the humor is delivered is what makes MG so unique. We have the "animal world" scenes, the cutaway gags ("Don't have sex. Because you will get pregnant, and die.") the clever, totally irrelevant lines Tina Fey is famous for ("Oh my god, Danny DeVito, I love your work!", "My nana takes her wig off when she's drunk.") and seriously astute acting. Say what you want about Lindsay Lohan and her penchant for alcohol/loser guys/shoplifting, but that girl can act.
Best line(s): "So if you're from Africa, why are you white?" "Oh my god, Karen, you can't just ask people why they're white."
Best character: Regina George. "She's fabulous, but she's evil."
Runners-up: Little Miss Sunshine, Tangled, Juno, Up in the Air, Grease