Five sparkling movies to lighten up a dull weekend
The recent spate of supposed blockbusters at box office is turning out to be a disappointing affair. So what does one do when one's in the mood for the good old movie watching experience, the compelling story telling, the emotional highs and lows, all the ingredients to keep you hooked and wanting for more? Well, one never needs to pay up huge monies for one's taste of fantasy.
This weekend, simply cozy up with cushions, dim the lights a bit, get yourself a hot cup of coffee with something to nibble and catch one of these movies to spend the most amazing weekend, home alone!
Cast: Audrey Tautou, Gad Elmaeh
Director: Pierre Salvadori
Aptly, name this gem is a French film and whoever said French movies are all about deep reflection and layered meanings, too tedious and too dry, well, watch this!
Irene meets Jean; they fall in love and live happily ever after. Not quite, I must say.
The pretty lady in question is actually a manipulative escort, who lives off at the expense of rich older men and uses mercilessly the poor head-over-heels in love bartender to get what she wants.
Only of course, to eventually realise, that what she wants is to be loved. And that's when they drive off into the horizon on a scooterette!
Shot at exotic locale (which refreshed memories of Monaco and Monte Carlo), this movie is as delightful as a French puff pastry -- a truly priceless two hours of heartfelt smiles and sighs!
Watch the effervescent Audrey Tautou trample over hearts and teach the tricks of the trade to the shy Gad Elmaleh only to run to him when she's just about to lose it all. And catch the most amazing onscreen adventure of a kiss as well!
Tip of the day: A regular on World Movies, this is a must have in your DVD collection .
Image: A scene from Priceless
Before Sunrise ( 1995)
Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Director: Richard, Linklater
This is one of those very rare movies, which keep you wondering what happened after the titles began to role.
Jesse and Celine meet up on the Euro-rail. He is an American tourist dealing with a recent heartbreak, travelling to Vienna on his last day in Europe. She is a young student, on her way to Paris where she studies. They hit it off and on an impulse, he persuades her to get off at Vienna for a night that turns out to be the most romantic journey of their lives.
They talk and explore the city and connect in a way that they never did with anyone before. Fighting the urge to not commit to a long distance relationship that both of them feel would kill what they shared and an attraction that they just cant deny, they eventually part ways with a promise to meet six months from the day they met, in Paris
Watch this and you'll know what it means when you 'really connect' with a person. You talk without inhibitions, share ideas and dreams and open up in the most endearing ways. No mush, no melodrama, pure conversations -- this is definitely my idea of romance.
Tip: Watch Before Sunset (2005) which was made exactly nine years after the first movie. Nope, they don't meet after six months (aww ) but they do meet after nine years. Heart wrenching, isn't it? Catch my favourite scene when they have a fake phone conversation with friends and imagine going on a date like that!
Image: A scene from Before Sunrise
Cast: Alicia Silverstone, Brittany Murphy, Stacey Dash, Paul Rudd
Director: Amy Heckerling
Who says classics are boring? You can take an Emma and spin it on its head and have the most contemporary adaptation placed right here in your high school.
Cher, is rich, pretty and popular. There's nothing really she can't talk herself out of -- grades , parking tickets -- the works. Other than staying at the top of the social high-school who's who list, her immediate worries in life are playing matchmaker, indulging in the retail therapy and rescuing the down-trodden in terms of trends!
Josh, her step brother, calls her selfish and superficial. She tries to prove otherwise by evangelizing the social life of Tai, the new kid on the block in a purely unselfish act. But soon all hell breaks loose. She flunks her driving test, loses out on the popularity charts to her latest 'project' and is confused about her feeling for her Mr Right, Josh! Of course, all ends well.
Lots of fizz and attitude, this movie is like soda pop -- lifts up your spirit and leaves a sweet after taste.
Tip: Watch it for Alicia Silverstone, and you'll know where the movie gets its sparkle from.
Image: A scene from Clueless
Cast: Audrey Tautou
Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
If you feel romantic movies are sweet, this one's a French Patisserie.
Amelie's been a lonely girl since childhood and as a young woman, she's quite shy and an introvert. After a sudden realization, one fine day that she's perhaps wasting her life, she takes upon herself the task of bringing joy and happiness to everyone around her. As she goes about on her secret mission of fulfilling dreams of her father, neighbours, co-workers at the cafe where she works and this lonesome stranger she comes across.
She makes the biggest mistake which blows off her cover -- she falls in love. Watch this fairytale that give every spy movie a run for its money as you watch the impossibly pretty Audrey Tautou plan the most amazing set ups playing match maker, wish fulfiller and revenge seeker for all those around her.
Image: A scene from Amelie
Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Javier Bardem
Director: Woody Allen
So this one's quite a twisted affair. But what makes this movie so neat is its non adherence to norms.
Vicky and Cristina are as different as chalk and cheese. Vicky is practical and a traditionalist, knows what she wants and has planned her entire life around. Christina, on the other hand, is free spirited and bohemian, and perhaps knows what she doesn't want , and is okay with trying to finding the answer to this question all her life.
On their trip to Barcelona, they chance upon a painter called Juan with quite an eccentric view of love. What starts off as a casual meeting becomes a complex tale of unfulfilled love and passion that both of them share with Juan, as well as his ex-wife Maria Elena with whom he has an off and on relationship.
At the end of it all, both the women end up where they started . Each more assured than ever of their belief in life.
Tip: Not for the faint-hearted though as the track between Christina, Maria and Juan is quite an unusual portrayal of romance on screen to say the least. Watch this one for the most amazing views of Barcelona, rediscover the beauty of the Spanish language and a fresh take on love.
Image: A scene from Vicky Cristina Barcelona