Keidra Chaney and Raizel Liebler
These are movies that not only do your TLF editors know almost every line, but still watch at least every six months – for their “brilliance.” Enjoy!
She’s The Man
As one of a series of “reimaginings” of Shakespeare plays as modern-day teen comedies, She’s The Man has no right to be good. And it’s not, technically, but it is so much fun. Amanda Bynes (RIP, her mental health) plays a Viola, a girl who pretends to be a boy to get a soccer scholarship, and wacky hijinks ensue.
Don’t worry if you don’t like romantic comedies, just get caught up in the ridiculousness of Channing Tatum! While he had yet to perfect his signature lunk-headed charm, his ability to utter the words “I like cheese” as a romantic gesture showed his burgeoning everyman potential. The quotable one-liners, such as a bloke-y British soccer coach’s nod to Title IX – “Illyria does not discriminate on the basis of gender!” – makes for one of the best (only?) feminist moments in teen comedy history.
It’s important to know, for context, that I absolutely abhor most romantic comedies/meet cute kind of movies. But something about The Cutting Edge kept me watching till the end that first time I stumbled upon it on cable – and keeps me coming back over and over. It’s the film’s 1940’s screwball comedy vibe, that bootleg William Powell and Myrna Loy vibe that gives the film its heart: the spoiled ice princess flirtatiously butting heads with the hot-headed hockey player to vie for Olympic gold. It’s simple and ridiculous (There is NO WAY the Pamchenko would logistically work, without cutting off someone’s head, Blades of Glory style) but honestly, the acting’s not bad in this film. Moira Kelly especially has a vulnerability that makes her sympathetic even when she’s acting like a spoiled brat and D.B. Sweeney has that “normal guy” charm that makes him … you know, likably douchey. It’s that charm that is missing from every awful sequel ABC Family sees fit to inflict on us, even though I’ll watch those too.
We come not to bury the Transporter for its misogynistic sequels and terrible acting, but to praise it for its awful production values, gaping plot holes, and inane dialogue about madelines (seriously, there’s a whole scene about them – the pastries, not the children’s book character).
This is a terrible movie, but so much fun.
Exhibit A: The oil slick scene, our hero (Jason Statham, in the role he was born to play) gets the brilliant idea to remove his shirt and cover himself in motor oil to fight a room full of jackbooted thugs – it’s to keep him slippery, you see? Ehhhh. Anyway, said jackbooted thugs only seem to attack him in groups of two at a time, giving the scene a distinct Mortal Kombat feel.
Exhibit B: The scene affectionately referred to as the “House of Ass-Kicking” in the TLF “Executive Offices”. In a scene that single handedly convinced at least one of us to see this film in the theater when used in the trailer, The Transporter greets a house full of bad guys by ringing the doorbell and immediately kicking the door in. He then proceeds to kick the ass of every single house occupant, including two ax and sledgehammer-wielding gentlemen. When ass-kicking time is over, The Transporter heads to the garage, selects a car and turns off the car radio THAT HAS BEEN PLAYING THE SOUNDTRACK THE AUDIENCE HAS BEEN HEARING ALL ALONG. The scene gets even better when The Transporter crashes the stolen car out of the house gates and onto the street, somehow causing another car to dramatically skid into the frame, despite the fact that it was about two blocks away.
We don’t want to spoil all of the ridiculous delights of The Transporter, which start from the very first scene, but if you’re a fan of cheesy 90’s hip-hop, action scenes with no understanding of rudimentary physics, non-descript European baddies, and scenes with no connection to the overall plot, TRANSPORTER, YO.