A while back Patton Oswalt, funny-man and hobbit, had a list of his hundred favorite movie moments. Of course, there are lots of obscure film-lovers kind of films on there, but the idea was intriguing. I tried to make my own list, and realized I was a consummate failure at all things planned and organized, so I thought maybe I'd take a different horse track altogether (but not really).
Instead of favorite movie moments, I thought I'd go with favorite movie characters, something I'm sure others have done, but I haven't, so put on some popcorn and take a walk down filmatic memory lane with me.
Peter Falk's "Grandpa" in The Princess Bride
The Grandson: A book?
Grandpa: That's right. When I was your age, television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father. And today I'm gonna read it to you.
The Grandson: Has it got any sports in it?
The Grandpa: Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...
The Grandson: Doesn't sound too bad. I'll try to stay awake.
The Grandpa: Oh, well, thank you very much, very nice of you. Your vote of confidence is overwhelming.
Picking a favorite character from this movie is nearly impossible, because, let's face it, it's the perfect movie. I don't think I have yet to meet a person who's all, "Meh, I guess it was alright, you know, it's no Chronicles of Riddick," and if I did meet that person I would probably later be arrested for manslaughter.
But to choose one character out of all the fantastic, close-to-everyone's-heart, characters may be doing a disservice to the movie, BUT. I have always loved and been comforted by the Grandpa, the narrator of the story. He is how everyone wishes their grandpa was: salt and pepper moustache, fedora, tweed jacket, glasses. It would only have been maybe slightly more perfect if he'd been puffing on a pipe. His voice is soothing, sort of rumbly, softening the ending syllables like a kitten landing on a carpet. He gives the love story a certain sincerity that even the most cynical of us can't deny; it's his belief in the impossible tale of Wesley and Buttercup that gives their story credence.
Rik Mayall as "Drop Dead Fred" in Drop Dead Fred
Fred: You see when something's not working right, the best thing to do is tear it apart to make it better.
Thank god for Daniel Tosh for throwing out a Drop Dead Fred reference randomly on his show, and reminding me of one of my favorite movies of all time. This is probably where my secret love affair with gingers started, and the only reason why it also doesn't hold the genesis of my love of a British accent is because David Bowie got there first.
Why I love this character: This is how clever gross-out comedies SHOULD be done, but more often than not, aren't. TAKE A GODDAMN HINT, FARRELLY BROTHERS. A girl's childhood imaginary friend who loves snot and poo is locked up in a jack-in-the-box until she accidentally releases him years later as a neurotic, timid, low self-esteemed adult with a domineering mother and cheating husband. WACKY ANTICS ENSUE (including the sinking of a houseboat!). The silliness and grossness of Fred perfectly encapsulates how silly and gross we were as kids; I like to think I still uphold the tradition.
Natalie Dee knows what's up with this movie.
More to come, stick with me if you can. Also, comments, suggestions, bring 'em on.