Not-the-greatest movies you watch over and over

There are certain movies that I don’t want to defend as particularly good, but they’re certainly better than straight guilty pleasures. I’m talking about so-so movies that you enjoy for whatever reason and watch at least once a year.

The one that inspired this thread: De-Lovely, the Cole Porter bioflick with Kevin Kline. There are a bunch of problems with it, but hey, Kevin Kline – and of course, lots and lots and lots of Cole Porter songs, some of them in truly excellent versions, like “Night and Day”: Porter, in a rehearsal, looks in the frustrated actor’s eyes and shows him how to sing it. A wonderful moment.

What are some of yours? Don’t just give a long list – pick out one or two and explain why you like it/them.

Two of my semi-guilty pleasures, which don’t really need to be guilty, they’re just kind of silly things to enjoy as much as I do, are:

  1. You’ve Got Mail, the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan rom-com. It’s not a great movie, but I think it’s been unfairly dismissed as an unofficial remake to Sleepless in Seattle. This is much better than that glurgy crapfest, where the hero/heroine didn’t even meet until the very end of the film. I probably rewatch this once a year, most because I just find its depiction of NYC and the value of bookstores charming. I think all the performances are endearing, too. Meg Ryan’s character is basically identical to her Sally from When Harry Met Sally, at least, she plays her identically (you know, quirky, certain of her own rectitude, and quick to judge others), but I still like her passion for reading and the romance of small, family-run bookstores.

Tom Hanks is Tom Hanks with a bit more edge and snark, but I buy everything he’s selling here. And the soundtrack, filled with Harry Nillson, is incredibly poignant. I actually tear up at a few places, particularly the climactic moment when Meg first realizes just who Tom Hanks really is and “Over the Rainbow” swells up on the soundtrack. I think I’m also attached to this fluffy little film because of Meg’s character’s being so upset about the closing of her store primarily due to missing her late mom, who used to run her bookstore… It hits very close to home for me since my own bookstore-owning mom died when i was young too.

  1. Another fluffy romcom, this one is an even guiltier secret: Picture Perfect with Jennifer Aniston, Jay Mohr and Kevin Bacon. I genuinely don’t know why I like this so much, but dammit, I do. Maybe it’s the advertising world, maybe it’s Aniston’s engaging performance as a not-always-likeable, selfish but still rootable character. It’s also nice to see an NYC apartment that a woman with Aniston’s likely salary could actually afford.

This pic has real problems, particularly the last scene, which just goes on and on and I feel they should’ve ended the movie about ten minutes earlier. It pisses me off that Aniston’s character shows up at a wedding and completely hijacks it for her own purposes, which basically negates her earlier touching redemption from her selfishness. Still, I enjoy the fact that Aniston’s job means so much to her, and she’s not considered a bitch for wanting to advance in it–but she is to be looked down on for the way she treats Jay Mohr’s good-natured character. Plus it’s rather nice that Kevin Bacon’s playa character isn’t a total asshat but seems to genuinely care for Jennifer. (That’s really true for most characters in the film: even the stock roles like the oblivious, vaguely chauvinistic boss have some nice shading to them.)

The Ninth Gate, Thunderheart and Vertical Limit. :rolleyes:

I really can’t explain why. Maybe the locations are just places I like to go back to again and again. Yeah, must be that.

For me it’s Overboard, with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. Pros: The house looks like something Russell’s character would actually live in, the kids aren’t precocious or obnoxious, and rich snobby people get their comeuppance. The only con: The evening dress Goldie wore at the end (too low-cut for her figure).

Bring It On

Gods help me, I don’t know why. It’s got everything I usually hate in tween movies - objectification of women, stereotyped “sassy black girl” character, stunningly predictable plotting and 30somethings playing teenagers erudite beyond their years…but it has Eliza Dushku at her very hottest. And darnit if it didn’t convince me that modern cheerleading is at least as athletic as the games they’re cheering at.

I watch it whenever I can. :smiley:

Goonies – bad 80s music, special effects, and kid actors. But I watch it every time it’s on.

Biggles - Adventures in Time, and Drop Dead Fred.

I can’t really explain why I love these films. But I do.


The acting is all over the place and it drags badly in spots but I love this movie for some reason. Many great scenes and great scenery.

The Big Chill - it was our first date, so it holds good memories.

Dirty Dancing - especially the final dance scene. My husband seems to have a gift for flipping to that scene no matter what channel it’s on.

For my husband, any of the bazillion interchangeable John Wayne movies. He thinks I’m snarking, but when one of them comes on, I always ask “Which one is this?”

Josie and the Pussycats
Mystery Men
Not Another Teen Movie
Summer School

All lightweight comedies but I still enjoy them when I watch them.

Sorry. I can’t really. I can’t point to any particular factor about these movies. I just enjoy them. They do have good stories, which a lot of lightweight comedies lack.

Red Dawn.

Oh, you only wanted “not-the-greatest movies” not “the greatest”. Apologies. :wink:

I own Armageddon on DVD and have watched it several times on its own and also at least once with each commentary track. I have watched the Ben Affleck commentary track more than once.

Also Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, The Core, and 2012. I am such a sucker for big-budget cheesy disaster/alien invasion movies.

The Mummy, with Brendon Frasier and Rachel Weitz. And even The Mummy Returns, a much lesser movie. They’re on the tube fairly often, and I am pretty likely to watch them when surfing the channels. But, for some reason, not the third one.

My Blue Heaven with Steve Martin, Rick Moranis, and Joan Cusack. It’s a silly little movie, but it makes me feel good.

“Arugula. It’s a veg-e-table.”

I have seen this movie more times than I care to count.

I’m not sure if this counts, because I think it’s wonderful, but Matilda, the Roald Dahl story directed by Danny DeVito.

Ever After, which not many people seem to have much of an opinion of but I think is delightful.

It Could Happen To You - Bridget Fonda and Nic Cage are both pretty charming in this feel-good rom-com. One of my favorites from that genre.

L.A. Story - maybe not among Steve Martin’s most popular movies, but I really like it. All the digs about L.A. culture are pretty funny, and I love the elements of magical realism.

Reign of Fire - I maintain that this is the second best movie about dragons (the best being Dragonslayer). The worst thing about it is Matthew McConaughey chewing the scenery every time he’s onscreen, but he comes to a satisfying end eventually. Christian Bale is good as the reluctant hero, and the beautiful Izabella Scorupco is actually not unbelievable as one of the dragon hunters.

I agree. In fact, I own a copy.

Music and Lyrics. For some reason I love this movie. Maybe it’s the song they’re trying to write.

Can it be a bad movie? I adore “Night of the Comet”. 1980s cult movie. What’s not to love about a movie with lines like “see? That’s the problem with these things (gun jamming). Daddy would have gotten us Uzis”?