Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#36 – Diner
Why is it here:
Note: Remember that the first 80 are in no particular order.
The quintessential guy’s movie, filled with great dialogue and universal truths about life and love. And absolute ignorance about them too. Every actor in this film went on to become a star in their own right whether as a TV actor, character actor, or bona fide movie star. Not coincidentally, it’s also the debut of Barry Levinson, who made many great films over the next few decades. This one has a charm all its own though and it’s a movie that either connects with you or doesn’t. If it does connect it’ll be one that is hardwired forever, a little tiny film with a golden light shining through. Just watch it.
Moments to savor:
Popcorn/Penis. Daniel Stern’s album fight. The quiet moments of best friends together. “I’ll hit you so hard I’ll kill your whole family”. Rourke at his bad boy best. Steve Guttenberg laying the groundwork for the one note he built a career around.
Routine revisits, especially as these men age and redefine themselves. Aside from Guttenberg of course.
Produced by my good friend Mark Johnson, who later went on to astound audiences with Don’t be Afraid of the Dark and some show about meth dealers.