Desert Island Movies

As a white woman in her 30s, I’m a fan of The Office. Heh. I’ve been an avid listener of the The Office Ladies Podcast and just finished reading The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s: An Oral History by Andy Greene. So I’ve been reliving favorite episodes, one of them being “The Fire” from season 2 when Ryan started a fire in the toaster oven with a cheesy pita. Jim starts some games with the employees to pass the time, one of them being Desert Island Movies, and it made me think about what my Desert Island Movies would be. “The movies you’re going to watch for the rest of your life!” So here, at this point in time, is what I would pick:

Road House
I am a huge Patrick Swayze fan. And I have see Ghost and Dirty Dancing, and those are okay, but my personal favorite of his is Road House. This absolutely stems from my love of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and their frequent references to it (in particular the classic holiday song “(Let’s Have) A Patrick Swayze Christmas”). But I have to admit, the movie has its charms separate from that. For one, Dalton, the Patrick Swayze character, is an NYU philosophy grad who works as one of the best bouncers in the business. What. Even. You get to see Sam Elliott pull his hair back into a ponytail before showing off his own king bouncer skills. The villain is a rich guy who sings “Sh-Boom” while not obeying traffic laws. And one of Elvis’ old pals plays the owner of a hardware store. There are just too many amazing things about this movie to enumerate, so do yourself a favor and give it a shot.

Evil Under the Sun
For some reason, this Agatha Christie adaptation is a perennial favorite of mine. The all-star cast is fabulous, the setting exotic, and even though I know exactly how the crime is committed, I love watching it again and again. This is a movie I watch to have on for the sound as a comfort. This is a movie I watch on sick days. It’s a movie I watch when I’m bored and just need to watch something. The music is all Cole Porter, and Diana Rigg wears some GORGEOUS ensembles.

Working Girl
A movie about a woman using her smarts to get ahead, and getting Harrison Ford through all of it. What’s not to love? I have felt at different points like I’m Melanie Griffith or Sigorney Weaver in my career and in life, and I think ultimately I want to be Harrison Ford LOL. And Little David Duchovny and Little Rikki Lake are in it with bit parts!

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Another Harrison Ford pick! This is Indy at his best – fighting Nazis with his James Bond dad LOL. Plus it starts with Young Indy back at the turn of the last century in Utah, which in some circles has the joy of indicating that the Jones family are Jack Mormons, and for me that’s just an added delight of the Indiana Jones headcanon.

Could have been the third Harrison Ford selection for my desert island movies, but no. While I actually quite like the 90s remake, my preference is still the 1954 Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart, and William Holden vehicle directed by the great Billy Wilder. There’s a level of humor here that is foundational for me, and a shared humor with my family that is special and irreplaceable. At a young age I identified so much with Hepburn’s Sabrina and her need to reinvent herself, or reveal the woman that was hidden underneath. Sabrina goes to Paris, her favorite city and place of growth. In my personal life, Charleston, South Carolina was my Paris and provided the same function and love.

So there you have it. Amanda Mae’s 2020 Desert Island Movies. What would you have on your list?


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